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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Healing Horses Singapore is Healing Children - Part 1

Chithra Rogers, following her combined passion for horses and children, is bringing awareness to kids with special needs in her home country of Singapore, and the Equicizer is being used as a main component in the development of this ground breaking project. We're excited to feature Chithra and tell her story as she continues to help children and forge new pathways in Singapore, inspiring people on a now global level.

Chithra was born in her native Singapore, but fueled by an interest in horse racing, she flew to Brisbane, Australia in 2002 to "attain holistic knowledge about race horses in both theoretical and practical aspects at the Australian Racing Institute." She returned to Singapore and joined the racing industry as a Trainee Apprentice Jockey following the completion of her apprenticeship. After realizing more of the risks involved in riding racehorses through personal experience, she changed course and left for Melbourne, Australia in 2006 to pursue a career in training. While there, she became a stable manager and volunteered at the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association).
As time went by, in 2008, after moving back to Singapore and working as an assistant trainer, she made the tough decision to leave the racing industry for good. Her passion for horses was as strong as it had ever been, and through her volunteering at various therapeutic riding programs over the years, she had discovered a second passion which was equally as strong – raising awareness for children with special needs.
Dedicated to educating herself as much as possible, Chithra completed her academic qualifications in Learning Disorders Management and Child Psychology as well as Special Education. She noted that she also, "worked closely with mild to severe cases of Autistic Children at a reputable special needs school in Singapore" while pursuing her studies. She is currently an international member of PATH and is waiting to pursue her Masters in Special Education. Working with her Mentor, she stays informed on the latest interventions, allowing her to continue to polish her skills and knowledge.
About 4 years ago, Chithra started a quest to purchase land for a therapeutic riding center of her own. This has proved to be a very difficult task, due to the shortage of land available in Singapore. In Chithra’s own words, “That is when I came across this beautiful hand-crafted wooden horse the Equicizer from the USA. It made my dream come alive again! I was happy to meet the director of Wooden Horse Corporation – Mr. Frankie Lovato - a wonderful human being. He explained all about the Equicizer and also made me watch the start-up videos which are available in Youtube.”
In the meantime, Chithra approached many existing riding schools, sharing her vision and hoping to lease space to start her program. Surprisingly, this has proved to be another difficult task and after finding one such temporary place and holding lessons under the organization she founded, “Healing Horses Singapore”, things went south and others began trying to implement her ideas on their own.
So what did Chithra do? Carry on, of course.

"I developed a highly innovative indoor therapeutic horse riding school centered around the Equicizer, using a holistic approach incorporating medical, emotional and financial needs of the family and children involved. I want to make sure the training is accessible to a wider community and give children the help they truly deserve."
Check back on July 26th to learn how Chithra is using the Equicizer in her ground breaking program.
 
by Kayla Jarvinen