Stable owner gives free horse riding lessons to children with special needs

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A kind Thai stable owner gives free horse riding lessons to children with special needs.

Surat Tanakul, 43, made the offer after struggling parents started talking with him about equine-assisted therapy at his riding centre in Chiang Mai province, Thailand four years ago.

The former contractor knew that parents have to spend at least 50,000 baht every month to care for a child with special needs so he checked the books to see if he could provide the lessons for free.

Surat’s relatives, who own the stables with him, agreed and they are now providing free activities for children with the horses, with studies showing it can help with their physical and mental development.

He said: ‘I started the program because I want to help the children and to help the parents with their expenses.

‘Aside from helping them with their financial burden, I believe the lessons will help the youngsters feel happier in their lives, as horses are very relaxing to be around.’

More than ten families have enrolled their children to be part of the lessons including an eight-year-old boy who had been doing the activities for almost two years.

His mother said: ‘My eight-year-old son has been part of the program I have seen a positive change in my son, he has become calm and understanding.

‘He used to have problems focusing but now he’s getting better at it. His teachers have also been amazed at his development so they recommended other parents to come here.’

Equine-assisted therapy is a treatment that includes equine activities to promote physical and emotional growth in people suffering from depression, anxiety, autism, and more.

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