A couple of months ago we had a family weekend away in a lovely lodge at Ribby Hall Holiday Village. Ribby Hall is a luxury 5 star holiday village on Lancashire’s Fylde Coast. They have an impressive range of sports, swimming pools and leisure centre facilities. They are also just a 10 minute drive from the beaches of Blackpool, Lytham and St. Annes. The family lodge was provided to us at a discounted rate via a charitable organization called Friends of Families, who have 4 units on the site. The accommodations have been adapted not only for children with physical disabilities but also for children and young people with autistic spectrum condition and have been decorated accordingly in neutral colours. Any of the units can also be booked via a short application via another charity called TSC Trust which can provide funding for the total cost of the holiday, they can also provide breaks at 35 Haven sites, narrow boat holidays on the Lancaster Canal and a purpose built apartment block in Blackpool.
The Ribby Hall Village is nicely laid out with lots of greenery and was really nice and quiet. We didn’t make any use of the restaurants/cafes or nightly entertainments our main interest was in the horse riding for Mya. We firstly booked Mya in for a lead and walk around the village for 30 minutes which we followed her around with MacKenzie. MacKenzie was a little unsure, but gained a bit more confidence by watching his sister and having a quick chat with the horse and the staff leading the walk. Later on that afternoon we booked Mya and Mackenzie both in for a 15 minute lead and walk on the horses so MacKenzie wouldn’t have too much time to start thinking about it, if he starts thinking about something too much worry sets in fast. We were really surprised how well he took to it, normally MacKenzie is very loud and vocal in social situations and gets highly excited or anxious and none of this happened. Throughout the 15 minutes he was calm and quite quiet. Next day we took full advantage and booked them both back in for the lead and walk for 30 minutes. This time MacKenzie was fully relaxed that much so we had to walk along side him on the horse making sure he stayed awake! I have never known him to be so quiet especially outside, even passing people around the village, normally he will speak to anybody we see or he will talk loudly to get attention from others ……….. but no not while on the horse. So we have finally found the solution, we need to get a horse but i cant see Sainsburys or Asda being happy me taking a horse to do the shopping.
At least though its just another great gain that MacKenzie has now rode a horse, something that we thought he would never do because of his fear of animals and also the most amazing find for us was that a horse could provide him with a sensory solution.