Natasha was born at 29 weeks weighing 1220 grams. Paediatrician diagnosed her with congenital cerebal palsy.
Unlike normal infants who are born at full term, Natasha has motor impairment associated with prematurity during infancy. She does not possess full motor function. She has limited limbs movement which includes muscle tightness and exaggerated reflexes.
At her early age, Natasha had undergone a series of surgical operations which included injections of botox and tendon releases. The aim was to release muscle contractures, improve muscles development and reduce spasticity in both legs. Intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy were followed as her postoperative rehabilitation programme. While other kids were running around joyfully and celebrating Christmas at homes with families, Natasha was laid up in hospital for surgical operations. This was an unforgettable childhood experience for the little girl!
Natasha joined the Riding for the Disabled Association at the age of 5. She started with one riding class per week. This exhilarating pony ride had become her most important weekly outing. Natasha really enjoyed the relaxing and carefree feeling when riding a horse. She was so enthusiastic about the horse-human interaction. In addition, the encouragement and motivation given by all dedicated instructors, staffs and volunteer helpers further cultivated Natasha¡¦s equine interest.
With the advancement of therapeutic horse riding, Natasha has made prominent improvement in her physical condition. Not only does she improve her hand-eye co-ordination, muscle tone and physical strength, she has also regained her self-control, self-esteem and self-confidence.
Natasha participated in the Summer Training Course 2010. This was the first time for Natasha to get in much closer contact with horses. During the intensive training, apart from brushing up on her riding skills, she had also built a better knowledge on horse care and stable management. She realised the tremendous resources consumed in the preparation of the training programme.
Natasha is a member of the Riding for the Disabled Association Para Equestrian Squad 2010 – 2011. She is passionate about equestrian sports. Despite her mild dyslexia, Natasha is eager to overcome her disability and to equip herself both physically and mentally fit for any of the forthcoming overseas trainings and competitions. Above all, she learns the meaning of team, team work and team spirit. Her ultimate dream is to participate in a dressage performance with the renowned dressage champion Miss Anky van Grunsven.