Lottie – a teddy on a mission
Character aids riders
A teddy bear named Lottie has helped young Porirua residents learn to ride horses.
Lottie is a character in the book Lottie Loves Horses by Newlands teacher Carolyn Collis. It was written for children at Kenepuru-based organisation Riding for the Disabled.
Collis said she used Lottie the bear in most of her stories.
‘‘I bought him for $2.50 at the Martinborough Church fair and thought he was perfect because he has no nationality, he’s old and ratty, and he was a good role model for children. He was like, ‘ I can do anything and I don’t care how I look’.’’
In Lottie Loves Horses, Lottie experiences horse riding for the first time.
Riding for the Disabled helps children with physical and mental dis- abilities to develop through horse riding.
Collis discovered the organisation while visiting her mother in nearby Kenepuru hospital.
The pair went for a walk and found the centre about 100 metres away.
It was a haven with lovely horses and people, she said.
‘‘They were just so welcoming and friendly. [I thought] ‘what a wonderful thing to have in the community’.’’
Her daughter has since joined the organisation as a volunteer.
Collis is a keen photographer and works as a reading and recovery teacher at Bellevue School.
Collis has also published children’s books for funeral homes, Women’s Refuge, Johnsonville Plunket, and has had books translated into Maori, Mandarin and Samoan.
She said that next year she hoped to visit Tonga to write a book in Tongan.
Among her other plans are a book about a guide dog for the blind, and another in which Lottie goes to hospital.
Collis’ next book is called The Size of Goodbye, and features Lottie in a hospice.
Helping horse riders: Riding for the Disabled volunteer Sarah Piper, left, and coach Laura Rutten receive books by author Carolyn Collis, sponsored by Mark Donaldson from CDR Electrical.