Twenty four children, aged between four and 14, from the Port Alfred and Grahamstown area gathered at
the well-known Three Sisters Horse Trails outside of Port Alfred on Saturday for a day dedicated to
having fun with horses. On arrival, the children were sorted into groups according to age and
ability and throughout the day teamwork and sharing were the keys to success as they negotiated
obstacle courses, played gymkhana games, rode out on the farm and groomed the ponies until they
At lunch time everyone enjoyed healthy, home-made snacks and drinks while Robyn Moolman from
Equine Lingo and her beautiful horse Tango wowed them with an impressive demonstration of
horsemanship. Her demonstration included many beautiful ‘dance moves’ on Tango’s part, as well as a
thrilling show of bridle-less and bareback riding.
The day was a fundraiser in aid of the new Healing Horses therapeutic riding centre and also included a
riding demonstration by Tamsin Mbatha-Bouwer. Tamsin, now 19, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as
an infant and learned to walk with the aid of therapeutic horse riding. She was also one of the invaluable
volunteers who assisted on the day and made the gymkhana possible.
Healing Horses is the brainchild of Jann Webb, owner of Three Sisters Horse Trails for over 20 years,
who has recently had the opportunity to branch out into an area she has always wanted to go into – that
of using horses as therapy – thanks to the arrival in the area of Sheena Ferguson. Sheena has been
practising hippotherapy in Australia and is highly qualified in this field. This means that she will be able
to provide instruction and guidance while Jann is working on becoming a qualified RDA instructor. They
are joined by student Beth Anne du Toit, who is also interested in becoming a qualified RDA instructor in
the future, and together with Tamsin, the four make a formidable team.
Anyone who has owned or worked with horses for as long as these ladies have must know their capacity
for empathy, love and healing. Therapeutic riding has a host of physical, cognitive and psychological
benefits. One only has to talk to Tamsin for a couple of minutes to see the difference horses have made
to her life, and, if it could do that for Tamsin, surely it can do the same for others. Healing horses is
opening its gates on 1 June and is accepting applications for weekly therapeutic riding sessions from
anyone aged five and older who believes they could benefit from this activity. Three Sisters Horse Trails has
agreed to sponsor two riders for the first three months of therapy on a first-come- first-served basis,
but the organisation is also looking for donations towards equipment, horse-care
and salaries. Please contact Jann on 0826456345 if you would like to book a session or if you are able to
support them in any way.