Monty was one nag who was warmly welcomed by members of the Rotary Club of Linlithgow and Bo’ness last week!
The highly trained vaulting horse, belonging to Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), made his debut appearance in the car park of the Inchyra Grange Hotel – venue for the club’s regular meetings.
Monty was named in memory of past Bo’ness Academy head teacher and former president of the Rotary Club, Monty Wiseman.
Money donated from the trust fund that Monty bequeathed to the club in memory of his wife, Margaret, helped purchase the horse.
Vaulting is perhaps best defined as gymnastics on horseback and is one of the seven disciplines currently recognised by the Fédération Équestre Internationale (FEI).
Competitive vaulting is a youth sport. However, at the novice and recreational level, it has much to offer all ages.
A team of six vaulters, along with a reserve member, work with one horse under the control of a lunger who is in tethered to the animal.
This discipline can assist in developing and building a wide range of skills, transferable throughout all areas of disabled riders’ lives.
The physical benefits, too, can be profound, such as an increase in the level of general fitness, balance, motor skills, flexibility, co-ordination and core strength.
Although Monty is stabled in the Scottish Borders, he is made available to RDA clubs throughout central Scotland.
Jenny Leggate, an RDA senior instructor and member of the RDA vaulting committee, said: “We are delighted with the acquisition of Monty through a personal trust fund set up by the late Monty Wiseman.
“Monty is wonderfully versatile and gives valuable vaulting support in the Edinburgh and Borders region by visiting RDA groups – both new and more established – to give an extra, exciting dynamic to the participants’ experience.
“With his strength and reliability, he allows many young vaulters to canter for the first time and explore some of their more ambitious moves!
“Monty is also a dressage horse and can often be found taking riders out on hacks across the local countryside.”
The RDA can be contacted on 0845 658 1082.