Lot­tie – a teddy on a mis­sion

Char­ac­ter aids rid­ers

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By TALIA CARLISLE

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.

con­fi­dence

Photo: TALIA CARLISLE

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.

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