Unstoppable Luke

Luke Eaton feels unstoppable when he has the wind in his hair and Robbie’s reigns in his hand.

As a 37 year old who lives with Cerebral Palsy, Luke’s movement, muscle tone, balance, and posture have been impacted since he was a young boy.

Where some may have felt limited by their disability, Luke saw it as motivation to tackle challenges ‘head on’ and jump boldly over the hurdles that he faced – both literally and figuratively.

Luke is a self-proclaimed horse enthusiast. He loves nothing more than to spend the afternoon riding his horse, Robbie.  

“Horse riding makes me feel happy and accomplished. It’s something that I have to work on and constantly practice and improve,” said Luke.

“Horse riding provides me both mental and physical goals which positively impacts my wellbeing,” he added.

Luke first tried his hand at horse riding in 1993. He shared that it was part of his therapy program in a bid to improve his posture, coordination and hand function.

28 years later, Luke still shares the same passion and love of horse riding as he did when he was a nine year old boy.

Despite his love of horse riding, the last few months have seen Luke and those who support him, look for more innovative ways to make his horse mounting process more accessible.  

Until recently, Luke relied on a ramp to mount Robbie, limiting where he could ride, and support from others to lift him onto the saddle – a process that Luke describes as ‘time consuming and straining’.

It was at this point in time that Luke’s Occupational Therapist, Larissa, came across the idea of a horse hoist – a device that could lift Luke onto Robbie’s saddle in a safe, functional and time-effective way.

Larissa placed an application for a horse hoist with the NDIS on Luke’s behalf in April 2020 and spent many hours researching and advocating for the importance of this hoist for Luke.

Despite the hoist being located overseas and the process usually involving a trial, Larissa was able to secure a fantastic outcome for Luke and his family…

By June 2020, Luke’s hoist application had been granted and by October 2020, he had received his hoist.

“This is a prime example of how clinicians go above and beyond for their clients and their families,” shared Larissa’s Team Leader Andrea Curran-Bennett.

“Larissa knew that Luke’s hoist was an essential piece of equipment to ensure his continued involvement in horse riding… and she made it happen,” she added.

With Luke’s new horse hoist, he can now be directly hoisted onto Robbie. This gives Luke choice and control over where he wants to ride and takes the strain off his carers and instructors, because lifting is no longer required.

“When I discovered that my hoist application had been approved, I was ecstatic! Scope was an integral part of improving my accessibility in physical recreation,” shared Luke.

“My horse hoist gives me more confidence and control over my life and independence. Working with the Scope Therapy team has been a joy!” he added.