Rider With Special Needs

About Paige Wiles

Paige Wiles Riding Cheyenne
Paige Wiles Riding Cheyenne

Born and raised in the Fens during the 1990s, Paige and her sister Chloe both began English riding lessons from early ages. In fact, Paige was just four years old and had dreams of being a cowgirl. The girls had lessons with an English yard who, sadly, did not understand Paige’s special needs (she is Epileptic, Autistic and has learning disabilities). At that time there wasn’t anywhere that could offer her Western riding lessons.

However, Paige has had to confront barriers throughout her life, and with the support of Mum, Ali Wiles, she has worked to overcome each and every one. This has resulted in a strong and supportive relationship between mother and daughter and enabled Paige to grow in confidence and adapt to all that life throws at her.

Paige’s family owned a nearby farm and her father, Robert’s friendship with David Deptford stretches back to the days when David was also a farmer. The family were used to visiting the Sovereign stables so it was a given that riding lessons would begin for Paige as soon as her 14th birthday came round (14 is the age lessons can begin at Sovereign).

Case by Case Assessment for Riders With Special Needs

Paige does need everyday help but, sadly, English yards did not offer it. Sovereign were able and willing to meet her unique special needs.  When riders with special needs are considering riding Western we assess them on a case by case basis to ensure we are able to help them.  We had ample opportunity to do this with Paige so we were certain we could help her.


Building a Life Around Horses Brings So Much Positivity

Paige Greets Tiffany, at the Start of Her Riding Lesson
Paige Greets Tiffany, at the Start of Her Riding Lesson

Both Paige and, her older sister, Chloe started taking Western riding lessons at Sovereign Quarter Horses together. Paige was paired with Snowy, and Chloe with Hobby for those early lessons, and it became a weekly feature for them both. Paige was nervous at the start but was soon put at her ease by David. Her confidence grew so much that she was inspired to attend college passing “Equine Studies” Levels 1 and 2.  Now Paige hopes to spend her life working with horses as this is where she is happiest. Chloe, lost interest in Western riding as she much preferred English riding, going on to acquire her own horse named Matilda.

An unbroken three-year-old Quarter Horse – ‘Fast Draw Oprah’ but known as Cheyenne – was bought by Robert as a family horse from Sovereign. Right from the start Paige was the one who was meant to be her rider as both Cheyenne and Paige clicked instantly. Horses do seem to sense children and adults who have learning disabilities which is why they connect with them so readily. It was exactly like that with Paige. It was as if the horse had chosen her itself.


A Growing Passion for Horses Builds a Brighter Future

Paige Wiles visits Lando at Sovereign
Paige Wiles visits Lando at Sovereign

Getting involved with Western riding and building a strong bond with Cheyenne made Paige a confident rider who is full of passion for horses.  She is happier in herself and her life and clearly sees a much brighter future ahead. In fact, riding involves the whole family.

In 2021, 6-month-old Lando was purchased by Paige’s Mum, Ali, from Sovereign Quarter Horses.  Lando was in the first foal crop of ‘Gunnawantme’ out of ‘Snipandenglands Rose’, one of Sovereign’s foundation brood mares.

The family also have a 19-year-old rescue called Ginny and a 7-year-old called Scout aka Fat Boy.  The family have embraced their Western riding so fully they went on to also become members of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and Western Equestrian Society (WES).

Lando Paige Wiles Horse on 21 Dec 2021
Lando, the Horse Bought for Paige Wiles From Sovereign Dec 2021

Western Riding Benefits For Paige

Paige, now 28, has had a real journey in Western riding resulting in an even more connected family unit with both her parents enjoying it too whilst Chloe rides English style alongside.  The purchase of Lando was, actually driven by Paige’s Mum, who wanted to get back into Western riding and the general Western scene again.  Asked what it was that Ali liked about the Western scene, she said: “I want to be part of the clinics and meet other Western riders.  It is a friendly community.”  The team here at Sovereign would most definitely agree with Ali.

Paige herself is very much getting there with her horsemanship skills becoming even more honed through participating in some clinics and even some All Breed Shows. In 2010, she competed in an All Breed Show riding Cheyenne and went on to win Best Improved Rider.


What is Next in Paige's Western Riding Journey?

Paige has come a long way with her riding over the past fourteen years.  We are delighted to have helped her progress so much.

We would encourage her to attend some more of our clinics, including Ranch Riding, Trail, Horsemanship and Showmanship.   For those that don’t know, this means she can bring her own horse so that they can train together.  Paige is, of course, also welcome to attend normal riding lessons using Sovereign horses if she wishes too.  Continuing to compete in our friendly All Breed Shows will also build on Paige’s range of experience and will continue to boost her self-confidence in her own abilities.

The Sovereign team love helping Paige to grow as a rider and as a person.  As with any of our riders, we are available to help as much or as little as is needed by the individual rider.


Testimonials From Both Paige and Her Mum, Ali

Paige’s Mum, Ali said:

“Having had a few years break from Western riding, we were welcomed back by David and Sarah, and it felt like we had never been away.  I was worried how Paige would cope getting back into Western riding, but I need not have worried.  David and Sarah teach in a relaxed manner that Paige understands.  Paige and Tiffany, the horse that Paige rides, seem to have a close connection which is lovely to see.  Paige has become confident and is trying all the time to be more independent and Sovereign is a safe environment for her to be able to do this.  We know she is always safe, and the facilities are perfect for her.  Right from the start we have been on a journey, and I feel that we have now arrived at a much better place.

Sovereign Quarter Horses is the place to go for anyone who has a learning disability and wants to learn to ride Western, but they are likely to gain much more than just riding experience.”

 

Paige herself said:

“Since I came to Sovereign, my confidence has improved with the support and guidance of David and Sarah.  My independence has grown, and my love of riding makes my life fulfilling.  I am looking forward to the future with my new foal, Lando, who we bought from Sovereign.”


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