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. (Pictured left, Chithra with her mentor, Wendy Torr - OAM Chairperson RDA NSW [Riding for the Disabled Association, New South Wales] Coaching and Safety Panel)

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. Upon completing her apprenticeship as a jockey, she returned to Singapore and joined the racing industry as a Trainee Apprentice Jockey. 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 pursued her studies in Learning Disorders Management and Child Psychology. While pursuing her studies she also worked closely with mild to severe cases of Autistic Children at a reputable special needs school in Singapore. At present, she is due to complete her studies 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 3 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. After 2+ years and much struggle, including petitions to the government from parents of special needs children, she is still awaiting approval to purchase the land needed.

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.

Chithra strongly believes that the earlier children can begin therapy, the more beneficial it will be for them and the more positive the outcome in reaching them successfully. In Singapore, the starting age for children to begin horseback riding as a form of therapy is limited to 6 years and older, so Chithra began work on another project as she continues to wait for land purchase approval. After discovering the Equicizer, she decided to open up a multi-sensory play center under the Healing Horses Singapore program.

Healing Horses Singapore, a privately owned not-for-profit organization mainly focusing on early intervention for young children, is now Singapore’s first indoor therapeutic horse riding training organization catering to children with special needs up to teenagers, using the Equicizer as the primary tool.

Due to the difficulty in getting land approved in Singapore and the age restrictions for beginning therapy on real horses, the Equicizer is a key part of Chithra’s mission. With the Equicizer, Chithra is able to service students much younger than she otherwise would be able to and she is already building up a strong clientele of students, who come for sessions on the Equicizer, and are seeing incredible results in a very short span of time. We look forward to following Chithra's progress with the Equicizer through the development of Healing Horses Singapore. Check out their facebook page for updates!

Tell us your story and let us know how your Equicizer has changed a life! Stories can be sent to info@equicizer.com and with your consent, may be selected as one of our next blog features!

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Written by Kayla Jarvinen — January 15, 2016

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