It started back in 2005 when riding instructor Andrew Rowland was asked by the Grandparents of a girl with Cerebral Palsy if he could help her learn to ride. Andrew took her on as a special project, and frustrated by a lack of local support searched the Internet and ended up talking to Guy Ockenden, the Chairman of the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA), who invited him across to work and train with their coaches.

This resulted in Andrew travelling to New Zealand in 2007 and 2010, where he gained extensive knowledge and work experience with some of the best NZRDA coaches available on both the North and South Islands. His main mentor was Roslein Wilkes, who has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) for services to riding for the disabled, and has been the Special Olympics New Zealand equestrian coach for two World Games.

Tumanako operates Tuesdays to Sundays and offers long and short-term treatments depending on the needs of the client. Cost structures are applied accordingly. The sessions are carried out under the strictest of safety standards, which typically involves the therapist, horse leader and side-walkers, and are designed to address the physical needs of the client as well as to assist in developing social skills. The aim of the treatment is to make it as fun as possible, while ensuring optimum therapeutic benefits.

If you are a medical professional interested in treating your own clients with Tumanako, please contact Andrew Rowland for more details.