Equine Therapy

The Program

Lead by equine behavior therapist Alan Lockwood, and overseen by our Nurse and OT, we customize each child’s needs with the correct horse, saddle, and position. Ranging from sitting, supported sitting, and across the back. We have 4 different saddles and various bridles and halters for our two mares  (Donated by Rotary Claremont) plus two wonderful bareback pads ( one donated by one our of parents). Each session is done in the safety of our hospice grounds. When children are self seated or lying across the horse we have two side walkers in place for balance. The lead is either done by Alan or Sue. We also have an electric hoist and wheelchair mounting block so as to be able to assist our children over 20kg. Safety is our main priority and a session will end immediately if one of the horses is unhappy or if a child shows any distress. We also take into account what the child will best benefit from, muscle tone improvement, posture, relaxation, or confidence building.

Both our horses are adopted from the Cart Horse Association – Diva has been in training for 4 years and Viltalgo (in picture) for 3 years.

More Information

Our program runs from 10 am to 12 pm every Monday and Wednesday. The horses are first ridden off the property to establish temperament on the day (these are ladies) and also to ensure any access energy is worked out. On their return children who have booked their sessions will be correctly matched to their horse and the horse correctly tacked. Please note all sitting or assisted sitting riders wear approved riding caps. To make a booking please contact Shakira at our office on 021 910 1578 or email sue@iris-house.org. Currently, this program is only available to registered Iris House families and is free.

Should you wish to donate towards the running cost of our horses please use one of the buttons below (The average monthly cost of keeping our horses in top condition, paying for their trainer, farrier, insurance, and groom is over R13 000 per month) Volunteers who have some horse experience are welcome to join us as side walkers.






Surfing Program

The Program

We have been running our surfing program for three years. After year one it soon became evident that our children would benefit greatly from a more stable and continuous program housed within and run by our organization. This will ensure that our children enjoy more structured and lasting therapeutic benefits.
We are incredibly grateful to Dries, Albert, and the team for their dedication and initial exposure to the profound benefits of Surfing for children with Special Needs, and know that the team will continue to positively change lives through surfing at Strand, Hout Bay and the West Coast.
We are excited to launch the new season with our very own equipment together with guidance from Adaptive Surfing Coaches Albert Millard, Dries Millard, and our amazing Surfdog Leia. We have witnessed the remarkable therapeutic value and benefits of surfing, and with this new approach, we are committed to growing the program so we can bring as many children as possible into the sea. We will place an emphasis on the long term and sustained therapy.

The overwhelming joy expressed by the children who have participated in the program thus far is rewarding enough, but we are even more heartened by the fact that together with our other therapies we have witnessed tangible improvements in their physical health and holistic wellbeing.
We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to REEF South Africa whose support has been of immense importance to us and will continue to ensure the success of our Surfing Program.

To all our past supporters and future friends, please let us know if you can support this particular program from Iris House for we can’t do this without your help.!

More Information

Our program runs from November till March. Please contact our offices on 021 910 1578 if you want to book a session (sessions are subject to weather and water conditions)

Should you wish to donate towards the running cost of our surf program please use one of the buttons below (Volunteers who have some surfing experience are welcome to contact us on info@iris-house.org to join the action)






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