Philippa is 17 years old and a student at Alderwasley Hall Sixth Form Centre in Derbyshire.
The college provides specialist education, therapy and care for young people up to the age of 19 years, with speech, language and communication and/or Aspergers Syndrome.
Philippa is passionate about horses. She started horse riding when she was five years old and began to concentrate on dressage five years ago. When she is at home Philippa rides with the local Riding for the Disabled Association Group, where she has been coached by a specialist dressage instructor.
Staff at Alderwasley Hall Sixth Form Centre have supported Philippa to develop her natural ability for horse riding and she is currently studying for an NVQ in Horse Care at Broomfield College near Derby. As a result her riding has improved significantly. Philippa has some mobility difficulties and horse riding has been an excellent form of physiotherapy. It has also helped her with her balance and confidence, as well as giving her skills in horse care that she will be able to use when she leaves College.
As a result of all her hard work Philippa put in a strong performance at the 2008 Riding for the Disabled Association National Championships. She rode confidently in the difficult canter test and was rewarded with an excellent second place in the junior section. Philippa qualified for the national competition earlier this year after winning her class at the RDA’s West Midlands regional event.
When asked what she likes about horses Philippa said “The thing I like about horses is they always rely on the person who rides them. They are also very kind and they’re a very different animal from others around you because you can do more things based on horses like dressage and jumping.”
Alderwasley Hall Sixth Form Centre, Derby Road, Wirksworth, Derbyshire DE4 4BN
Tel 01629 821400