The Blind Rider Program (BRP) is an extension of STAPELL's Mobility Adventures (and in addition to our Fishing & Kayaking Program). It is one of the only two programs STAPELL runs solely. In certain circumstances, and dependent on the rider's specific needs, we will use external vendors.
Our other Mobility Adventures are built with subcontractor involvement. Whether you are new to vision loss or you are a veteran VIP, were once a rider, or are deathly afraid of horses, equine workshops are tailored to your specific experience needs and capabilities.
The BRP focuses on increasing stamina and mobility through horse management, training, and riding sessions. The program is run by Mary Chapell, Director of STAPELL and prior USA Eventing competition rider. In addition to Mary's prior professional equestrian work, she is also a qualified Orientation & Mobility Specialist and a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor specialist that combines blind/low-vision specialties with equine management aids to build our clients' endurance, coordination, muscle memory, balance, and mental stamina.
First Session - Equine Workshop Assessment
Management Sessions -
Training Sessions -
Riding Sessions -
Assessment Sessions -
Every time you work with your horse, one of you is training the other. Every time you work with STAPELL, your Specialist will be assessing you. Assessments will be negotiated with the student on the appropriate skill they feel confident in demonstrating.
On the books for 2021-2022 are some Australian horse adventures potentially in the Kimberly region, Margaret River, & Tasmania. These mobility adventures will continue your practical mobility training from regular sessions.
“Mary is such an experienced horsewoman. In her global experience, you feel like you are really getting top quality training whether you wanted to go Paralympic or trail ride.” - Anna Kasec
Not sure what it’s all about? Contact us to talk more about if this program aligns with your current goals. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
CURRENT SCHOOL HORSES
FORMER SCHOOL HORSES
”I am a wheelchair user. Would I be able to ride with you?”
The BRP currently only works with participants who have a primary disability of vision-loss. Unlike RDA (Riding for the Disabled), our services at Stapell focus solely on vision-loss as this is where our expertise lies.
“I know many riding places have a weight limit. Does Stapell have a weight limit for the BRP?”
Yes and no. STAPELL's riding weight limit for the BRP is around 75kgs. However, our activity weight limit is nonexistent. We have many participants who are over the 80kg limit to ride that still do all of the Management, Training and Assessment phases. This is just as important as riding.
Our horses receive professional training by subcontractors to improve their skills
Learning to move away from the leg when asked by the rider is important to keeping your horse on the outside track or aiding in left/right turns. *Video courtesy of Tyson's Performance Horses.
Learning to stand still while the rider opens and closes gates is a convenient skill. *Video courtesy of Tyson's Performance Horses.
Moving laterally is especially important when mounted or when working on the ground around horses. *Video courtesy of Tyson's Performance Horses.
At your appointments:
- Clean your hands often.
- Maintain your distance.
- Wear a mask.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Cover sneezes with a bent elbow.
- Stay home if you're unwell.
- If you have a fever, go to the doctor.