Te Awamutu Riding for Disabled (RDA) and Te Awamutu Kids Zone Holiday Programme has recently collaborated in an effort to help children with their confidence and raise money for the organisation.
The idea for the two to come together was that of Retha Van DerWesthurzen, both an employee at Kids Zone and volunteer for the RDA.
"When I started working for Kids Zone I immediately realised the potential to do this because of the way Simone runs her business. She is very child-orientated, outdoor activity orientated and challenges the kids. More or less the same kind of challenges that the riding for the disabled children are facing," says Retha.
"This is now our third time that we've done this and it has worked out beautifully."
Retha says some of the challenges that RDA helps the children with are things such as attention deficiency and confidence.
For some of the children it was their first time ever being on or touching a horse.
"You get the kids that are scared of the horses to start with, they're really hesitant but by the end of the day they're on the horse, and they're waving to you! They become so confident," says Kids Zone owner Simone Monkley.
The group from Kids Zone was broken up into groups of five children and each group had a session in the arena at the Kihikihi Domain.
During each session the children started by doing some stretches on and off the horse, an exercise circle with the horses, they went through an obstacle course and then played a game similar to musical chairs but called musical horses.
"It was a brilliant day, it was cool to see the kids happy and feeling relaxed and buzzing after a ride. Especially compared to when they first started and were so nervous," says head coach and Te Awamutu RDA manager Rosalie Rea.
The collaboration also served as fundraiser for the Te Awamutu RDA, the day raised them $500 which helps them massively to keep the programme running says Rosalie.
Kids Zone visiting Te Awamutu RDA is something that is expected to continue during future school holidays.
"It works so well together, Rosalie and Simone have the same idea about giving children the opportunity to develop and to experience new things but in a safe environment," says Retha.