Melksham riding lessons subtitled

Wiltshire Times: Horse trainer Claire Lilley with six-year-old Ruby at her stables Little Copse Farm Horse trainer Claire Lilley with six-year-old Ruby at her stables Little Copse Farm

Equestrian trainer Claire Lilley has made riding easier for people with hearing problems by producing a new training DVD with subtitles.

Mrs Lilley, who lives in Market Lavington but has training stables near Melksham, has written five books and produced five DVDs for horse riders who are just beginning or have lots of experience.

But the new DVD – Stop, Go, Turn – is designed for the hard of hearing.

Mrs Lilley said: “We noticed that there were no equestrian training DVDs on the market for the hard of hearing. Why should riders miss out on the finer details of the films just because they cannot hear?

“So often an everyday problem can turn the dream of horse ownership into a veritable nightmare. I aim to get to the root of the dilemma, so people can enjoy their horses again.”

Mrs Lilley has a number of pupils who are hard of hearing, but they make up for it with determination and concentration.

She said: “They don’t see it as a problem. Usually, I talk to my pupils the whole time they are riding, but with the hard of hearing I have to catch their eyes as they go past and indicate to them with hand signals what they should be doing.

“The Paralympics showed what people with disabilities can achieve in all sports. Even if you’ve got a disability, there is something you can do in horsey sport.”

Mrs Lilley, 55, has been involved with horse riding since she was five and has been teaching since the age of 20.

She wrote her first book after meeting a representative of her publisher, JA Allen, at an event in London in 1998 and is about to publish her sixth book.

She said producing DVDs was a natural progression: “People learn well when they have something to watch. Somehow, it sticks in the mind more when there is a visual image.”

The new DVD was filmed over three days in August.

Mrs Lilley said: “The DVDs are great fun to do. The first one was a bit nerve-racking and we had to retake the first day’s work, but now I talk to the camera as if it is a person.”

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