Conquest Centre, based near Taunton, Somerset provides horse-based activities for people with disabilities and additional needs and through this benefits their health and well-being. We deliver these activities in an inclusive environment which welcomes our whole community. Our work focuses on ability rather than disability and aims to allow each individual to achieve their personal goals.
WHAT WE DO
Conquest Centre is a fully equipped equine centre with: a herd of horses trained for our specialist work; an indoor and outdoor arena with floodlighting, show jumps and a variety of learning tools; a woodland riding trail; specialised equipment such as a hoist and wheelchair accessible mounting block; disabled driving carriages; a wheelchair accessible toilet/wetroom.
We offer a wide range of horse-based activities for people with physical and learning disabilities and other additional needs aged from toddlers to 83 years!:
- Riding Lessons – group and private lessons from qualified instructors with expertise in working with people with disabilities, behavioural difficulties and emotional issues.
- Back Riding – here an instructor rides with a child who cannot ride unaided sitting in front of them. This is a particularly powerful tool for working with non-verbal children with autism.
- Sensory work – this involves clients sitting or lying on a stationary bareback horse, whilst the instructor helps them relax and feel the warmth of the animal.
- Groundwork – a non-riding activity where clients work with the horse to complete activities such as negotiating an obstacle course. This requires the establishment of a strong relationship with the horse and helps clients develop trust, improve communication skills, and enjoy an often rare sense of achievement as they succeed in a new challenge.
- Carriage Driving – particularly beneficial for people who are unable to ride due to disability or who prefer a non-ridden challenge. As with our other activities it is delivered by expert instructors and offers physical, learning, social and personal benefits.
- Horse Care Sessions and Stable Days – provide fabulous opportunities for riders and non-riders to learn how to relate to others and make new friends.
- A Café open to the whole community which is run by trainees with additional needs, offering them the opportunity to gain work and life skills.
- A Sensory Room designed to provide a relaxing environment and improve sensory skills, co-ordination and language. For many clients using this before an equine session is extremely beneficial as it leaves them relaxed with improved concentration. For families the Room offers a much needed opportunity to bond in a peaceful space and explore new techniques for calming their child – learning they can take back to the home.
- An outdoor play and picnic area (with resident chickens and goats) which provides an often rare opportunity for our clients, their families and public visitors to have fun together in a relaxed, non-judgemental, rural environment.