September, October, November, December 2020 News December 2020
We started our autumn with preparation Al Marmoom Initiative for the new 2020-2021 season – trimming the trees, deep stable cleaning, grass trimming, finishing the training for the horses to pass by sterilization tunnel.
All staff completed “Fire Fighting Awareness Course”. Big THANK YOU to Tony Field from Vention Global for organizing it.
So, as you can see, September was pretty busy 🙂
New Season started in October 2020 with 30% capacity, to ensure safety of our students. Volunteers started to help with stable duties. We are so happy to see everyone.
Check out our walker that been sprayed with new product ArenaKleen – dust free, organic, and doesn’t require watering anymore. Thank you to GES MENA for the support.
Stay safe and healthy!!!
May, June, July, August 2020 News August 2020
Over the summer and Covid-19 lockdown Life slowed down significantly here at
Al Marmoom and we missed our Students and Volunteers equally.
Nevertheless we used the hot period to prepare for the upcoming autumn/winter season and keep everyone safe.
We installed a sanitisation tunnel for humans and horses and started training our horses to walk through smoothly. Hopefully soon we will use the training after each lesson to sanitise tack and make sure everyone stays healthy.
Further we are disinfecting/sanitising our entire stables every 4 weeks from top to bottom.
In addition we received Donations and that always makes our horses happy!
A very big THANK YOU to Saddler Shop for their kind donation of supplements and carron oil for our horses.
And a very big THANK YOU to Emirta for donating saddles, bridles, head collars, lead ropes and blankets. We really appreciate all your help.
Last but not least we are super excited to announce that our beautiful horse
Too Much Make Up won 1st place in Prettiest mare class in Shropshire Virtual show!!! How amazing is that! We couldn’t be more proud.
Stay tuned, we hope to see you all again soon!
March, April 2020 April 2020
Over the last couple of months life changed dramatically for everyone around the world.
Covid 19 has caused disruption to every home and to everyone’s everyday lives.
We stopped all our activates at Al Marmoom Initiative from start of March and centre was on quarantine since that. The season finished very early this year.
The horses enjoyed their early holidays 🙂 We were keeping them busy with some lunging, groundwork and long reining.
Access to the centre has been limited, unless an emergency.
Our staff having some online English and equine courses. It is very good time for developing ourselves and learn something new.
January, February 2020 News February 2020
Start of the new 2020 year we began with Endurance race for our students. 5km loop in the desert was not an easy ride. We are very proud of every participant!!! WELL DONE!!!
Heavy rain came couple of weeks after January started. The stable was unreachable due to the flooded roads for more than a week. Engineering office helped us to prepare temporary road, so students and volunteers can reach the stable, the normal schedule was resumed.
We would like to highlight volunteers of the month of January – Aadil and Abbas, and volunteer of February – Vijay. Thank you for your dedication and help.
We had great assistance from Summertown, Hogan Lovells, EFS Facilities and Manipal University.
Summertown team helped us not just during the lessons, but as well to paint some of damaged walls in our office!!! You are the best.
Our volunteer, Zahra Poonawala is a licensed Mental Helath Professional with more than 10 years of experience working with adults, families and children with mental health concerns, certified Equine and Animal Assisted Mental Health Practitioner, ran Equine Assisted Support Group for parents of children with special needs at the end of February. The session involved engaging in fun activities with our beautiful horses and connecting with other parents who might being going through something similar. We are looking forward to more sessions like this to be organised at Al Marmoom Initiative to support the parents.
We have a new employee, his name is Chester. He is Shetland pony and a new Zorro’s friend. After few weeks of getting used to the new stable and some training, Chester was ready to join the lessons.
This season we had a challenge with our annual event Festival of Fun. After first time event was scheduled – we had to reschedule due the rain. After that we had to cancel the event due to the flooded road. On the third time we had a success. Our 5th Festival of Fun we had at the last day of February. It was a lot of fun, shows, students showed their riding skills, delicious food… THANK YOU to the people and companies who helped us with organisation and supported the event – Al Lokrit International, Cheeky Monkeys – Play Learn Celebrate, Elegant Art, Well Wishers UAE, Sheraton, Mall of the Emirates, Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers, Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Rerotti Hair & Beauty, DJ Acassia, 24K Events FZ LLC
November, December news 2019 December 2019
We are excited to have all our students completed the first ‘Basic riding’ and the second “Show jumping’ blocks of lessons after 12 weeks of hard work. We are so proud of them! We also take this opportunity to thank all the amazing volunteers who offer selflessly their precious help every week. Moreover, we are glad for the assistance we had this last 2 month from Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Hogan Lovells, Summertown and KPMG staff, who also came to volunteer with us. We would like to highlight volunteer of the month November – Anke, and volunteer of December – Areeba. THANK YOU for your dedication and help!!!
We hosted a group of students from GEMS in November for the Week Without Walls Program – the experiential learning program, is to provide life-changing learning experience. They were helping with daily tasks at the stable, riding classes and learned about the horses.
Our stable manager Yana completed Safeguarding and child protection course from BHS. It is very important and serious subject, especially working with people of determination. We are doing our best to keep high standards at Al Marmoom Initiative.
We had an amazing 7 km Walk to support National day on 2nd December. Over 100 people joined us to for this good cause. We would like to say Thank You to Dubai Police, Dubai Ambulance, RTA Dubai and Al Marhabani restaurant for the help and support on that day.
The first term is over in the end of December.
During the winter holiday our volunteers were enjoying their well-deserved riding classes. With Pay Back Scheme everyone who completed 8 hours of volunteering with us, entitle to have one free riding class.
As well during the break chiropractor and dentist visited to check our horses, to make sure that they all are fine and happy.
Jun, July, August, September, October News 2019 October 2019
This summer was no so hot and humid, but finally it is over, and we launched our 2019-2020 season. The horses had a nice holiday and ready to go back to work.
A big thank you to Dubai Ambulance, who trained our grooms and gardeners a refresher course in basic First Aid.
The Basic Riding block was filled the earliest in our schedules. Thrilled to welcome the students back to their first lessons. Students looking forward to learning new skills this season.
Lots of smiling and happy faces also from our volunteers.
The city of giving Dubai, has many corporate offices that share the same philosophy.
Among many worth mentioning are Hogan Lovells, Summertown who give their precious time volunteering at Al Marmoom Initiative as part of their Community Social Responsibility (CSR). We thank you whole heartedly.
Excitement this season is the first competition of its kind in the region: between numerous different stables in Dubai that train people of determination. Still in the organising stage. Keep a look out for the announcements and save the date.
We proudly welcome our new team member Mohamad Akram. He brings with him extensive knowledge in the equestrian field. He is already a hit with the students.
May News 2019 May 2019
Yesterday we had a last day of the lessons of our 4th Season 2018-2019. It has been another amazing season at Al Marmoom Initiative.
61 new students joined our family this season. We are so happy to have you and deliver to you fun, joy and educational part in our lessons.
More than 100 new volunteers joined our team this season.
Say “Thank you” never feels like enough to those of you who have given your time to support Al Marmoom Initiative. Without your support, hard work, endless smiles and good humour, this centre wouldn’t be the same.
Thank you to Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, Anantara Dubai the Palm, Hogan Lovells LLP, Estee Lauder, Al Hail ORIX Finance PSC, Eversheds Sutherland, Manipal University, Eurovets for the support and help they gave us around the canter.
From all of us here at Al Marmoom, please accept our thanks and appreciation for being our volunteers – you are all ‘super stars’ and we couldn’t deliver this service without you.
We send to you all our heart-felt best wishes for the Summer and we do hope you’ll be joining us again next Season.
April News 2019 April 2019
We started April with the volunteer pay-back scheme, where our regular volunteers enjoyed some riding lessons and desert hacks to thank them for all their hard work last term. After the spring break, the weather was good enough for us to continue riding lessons for a few more weeks, before moving our students indoors to learn stable management. The students (and volunteers!) really enjoyed doing Easter egg hunts in the desert on horseback.
We are continuing to combine students visits to the stables with time spent in our greenhouse, and the tomatoes were flourishing this month! We were joined by volunteers from Eurovets, Hogan Lovells and Summertown, who did a great job helping with both the students and with tasks around the stables.
We welcomed two new horses to our family – Dusty and Maydaney. Both horses are settling in well and Dusty has become a firm favorite for many. All being well, they will be involved in sessions next season. We also welcomed Nellie, who will be joining full-time and is busy training and perfecting her English.
March News 2019 March 2019
March has been a mix of weather where we were able to take riders out into the desert challenge and further afield, and we’ve also had to shelter from several sandstorms by working in the stables instead. We’ve continued to be well supported by corporate and student volunteers, including from the Sheraton and Anantara Hotel Chains, Summertown, and the Manimal University. Our volunteers have continued to be brilliant both with the riding and in the greenhouse.
We’ve also welcomed Kat Winny to our team as an instructor.
This month was the Special Olympics in Abu Dhabi and our staff and some volunteers enjoyed going down to support the UAE teams and all other participants. We were very pleased that our swimming team team got two gold, one silver and one bronze medals!
This month, students have been learning their left and right, continuing to work on their balance and positions and focusing on how to hold their reins and steering through “L” figures and riding the box.
February News 2019 February 2019
Another month gone very quickly. February brought us few rainy days and been very productive with corporate volunteering. Companies like Al Hail ORIX Finance PSC, Eversheds Sutherland, Alstom Transport SA, Manipal University came with their team to give a part of their time to the community. We had lots of help with riding and gardening classes.
Students completed their Mini Road rider block and started Western riding block where they riders will learn how to lower the head of the horse when walking over the pole, to ride figure “L” and have 360 degrees turn in the box.
January News 2019 January 2019
We had a busy and productive January hear at Al Marmoom. Amazing Festival of Fun took place at the start of the year – our 4th annual even, where we invite all our students and volunteers with their families to enjoy our achievements. Volunteer of the Year is Anke, our dedicated volunteer that with us more than 3 years. She completed almost 70 hours in year 2018 helping us with lessons. Thank you Anke! We would like to say thank you to Al Lokrit International that supported us with amazing flowers arrangements, Well Wishers UAE – they provided us toys for the presents for children, The Big Moo brought amazing entertainment team with DJ, Face Painting, Bouncy castles, Pop-corn and Candy machine. The celebration will not be the same without you and your support!!!! Thank you!!!
The second term of the lessons started at the stable. The first block of 6 weeks lessons– Mini Road rider – students learning how to behave on the road, recognize road signs, how to indicate and say Thank you to the drives… We had a visit of volunteers from Hogan Lovells company, they learned a bit about special needs people and assisted us with the riding classes.
First Endurance race for people of determination been organised at our centre. 7 riders took place and completed 3km lap.
Thank you Eurovets for donating 8 bags of food for our horses.
December News 2018 December 2018
The last month of 2018 was as full of big achievements at Al Marmoom. We had around 30 cyclists participating in a cycling race for national day. Dubai police blocked the way for us and even arrived in sports car to show their support for the super event.
Thank you to Hogan Lovells, Sheraton Dubai mall of Emirates hotel, Sofitel Dubai palm resort and spa for your continuous support. We are forever grateful to all the selfless people that help us on a daily basis. The sense of community at this stable from those near and far makes it a very special place indeed!
November News 2018 November 2018
Isn’t the weather sensational at the moment? The omnipresent sunshine coupled with a cool breeze makes the riding lessons so much more enjoyable! Huge congratulations to our rider Abdullah Sayde from Senses school, due to his dedication and passion for horse riding, he’s now in perfect control and riding without supervision. We are so proud of him and all of our riders that come and try their best. Abdullah is definitely a huge inspiration for the other riders, someone to look up to.
‘Special Families Support’ group had their 19 years anniversary and Yahya, the owner of the stable, invited them to celebrate here at Marmoom initiative, we provided food and games and lots of fun. We also had a Diwali party for our groomsmen and other groomsmen from the stables around which was a great success, so much fun and laughter. We also welcomed our new horse Derrom to the stable which was given to us as a gift from Bahrain Royal Team. Thank you!
GEMS World Academy sent groups of 6 volunteer students to help for their yearly program Week without walls. They experienced and got knowledge in stable management, adaptive riding classes and greenhouse classes for people of determination.
October News 2018 October 2018
We feel honoured that Ari TV came to our stable to film and document what we do best here at Al Marmoom Initiative, which is providing horse riding lessons to special needs students and offering gardening activities in our beloved organic greenhouse.
Seeing the smiles of delight that our horses and gardening classes puts on the students faces is worth every second of effort from our devoted volunteers and staff.
We had lawyers as volunteers this month from Hogan Lovells! Thank you to them for taking time out of their busy schedules to be given training by us to be able to assist as volunteers.
We also had a team from Sheraton Hotel Mall of the Emirates and Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers to help us with rides and greenhouse classes.
Big shout out to Jamil and Afra for their courage on their first time riding and huge thank you to Boy Scouts of America, Troop 528 for visiting us.
June, July, August, September News 2018 September 2018
Ladies and gentlemen, It’s that time of year again! The humidity is subsiding, you can wear your sunglasses without them steaming up and impairing your vision, which is never a good thing whilst you are riding a horse J
We are very pleased to announce our complimentary riding lessons will commence started already on Sunday, 23rd of September.
The summer was so hot and we hope that most of you were able to travel so escape the heat at least for a short while, we on the other hand got busy making some exciting new changes to our stable.
One of these changes are that we added a brand new obstacle in our already famous desert challenge course.
This obstacle is called ‘The tyre challenge.’ Our riders will be guided as they attempt to weave in and out our colourfully painted rubber tyres on the sand. The new obstacle was created by our generous volunteers and students.
Our greenhouse manager Firas, also made the centre look even prettier by planting over one hundred beautiful green trees around the desert challenge area and along the entrance to the stable.
We were also lucky enough to receive a donation of trees from EFS facilities services group and they kindly gave us their time and expert help at strategically planting them.
Can’t wait to see everyone and our stable coming back to life with the bright smiles of our students, enthusiastically giving their best to achieve personal growth and all round just having some great fun!
May News 2018 May 2018
The end of May brings blooming flowers and sunshine into our lives, but nothing can match the glow of gratitude remaining from the season that has just finished. Our amazing students completed the last part of their classes: stable management has always been a hard work. We are so proud of them! They keep reminding us in a big way why there’s Al Marmoom Initiative and the miracles that happen here. We’d like to especially thank all those marvellous volunteers who have served tirelessly. Extra special thanks to our wonderful grooms and greenhouse staff. Our centre’s success would not have been possible without them.
From June to September 2018 our facility will remain quiet, till October 2018 when happy faces and voices will join us again. The staff is already beginning to plan for our new season of 2018-2019. Since 1st October 2017, it’s been:
- 8 months of working with the most amazing, hard-working staff members
- 8 months of meeting and working with so many dedicated volunteers, including our arena, stable and greenhouse teams
- 8 months of the best horse hugs
- 8 months of watching miracles happen before our eyes
- 8 months filled with overcoming organizational challenges
- 8 months of comings and goings
- 8 months of happy tears and a few sad ones too
- 8 months of creating successes with all of you
- 8 months of celebrating blessings
We’re looking forward to what the next year holds in store…
Have a great summer everyone!
April News 2018 April 2018
April has ended and with it our riding lessons. Unmounted activities will be taking place at our facility all through next month which will be the last month for this season.
Right after our spring break, Al Marmoom students enjoyed the Egg Hunt in the Desert Challenge, Stables and Greenhouse. What a great way to work on riding skills, as well as address cognitive and physical issues. Temperatures allowed for two more weeks of mounted activities and hacking out in the desert.
Al Marmoom Initiative was on air this month! Dubai Eye 103.8 fm radio station hosted two representatives of our center to talk about our activities and opportunities for people with special needs offered by Al Marmoom Initiative. We were so proud the audience was informed about what we do and what our students have accomplished so far. Al Marmoom spreads the word of determination, abilities, dreams coming true and happiness!
As always, we cannot thank enough our volunteers who make this center and its students shine every day. You rock guys!
Till next month….see you all at the stables!!!
March News 2018 March 2018
Time goes by fast and spring is already here to remind us that temperatures in the desert will be rising soon.
We have had an exciting month with people coming to and going from our stables!
To start with, two of the best high-quality, 5-star hotels of Dubai sent us a few groups of volunteers to help with our facility. Sheraton MOE and Ibis Style Jumeirah employees did their best to clean up and set our yard and Greenhouse in a way our students and horses would love! It is important to have a tidy and well-maintained, beautiful outer area for both students and horses, as the first benefit from the environment they work in and the second, benefit from the fresh grass and build up their mental health as well.
Al Marmoom Initiative takes into serious consideration the efforts of our volunteers and as a reward for all they do to help our center develop, some of our wonderful volunteers had the chance to learn and practice their horsemanship skills, as well as to ride a horse! The Volunteer Payback scheme was divided into groups, in which volunteers were distributed according to their skills. We hope you had some great fun guys. We cannot thank you enough!
Our students excelled at their classes and had a break for two weeks, before they come back for new adventures. We also had a few touching moments as we said ‘’goodbye’’ to two of our students. Sara Alam and Keira Thorson left the United Arab Emirates each with their family and moved to the United States of America. We wish them all the best in their new endeavours. Happy, safe rides girls!
March is also the month of World Down Syndrome Day. A special day dedicated to the Happiness Chromosome took place at Creek Park Dubai and was held by the Dubai municipality. We, as a team, couldn’t have missed that! Al Marmoom Initiative staff, volunteers and students participated as well, in an effort to raise awareness for the Syndrome.
Last but not least, the Flea Market! Our tireless volunteers along with some of our amazing students helped us give away all the stuff we don’t use anymore in the stable and that would be more useful to others. Besides, we, at Al Marmoom Initiative, love to share and care!
We wish Happy Easter for those of you who celebrate it and….see you at the stables!
February News 2018 February 2018
We hope you’ve had a great February!
This month we were happy to welcome the SWERVE company to our stables and thank in person all the people who contributed to our annual event back in January. We still watch the video they made for Al Marmoom Initiative and we get emotional! Thank you SWERVE!
More and more new volunteers join our team every month and offer their selfless support to our students. We are proud to announce that we’ve reached the number of approximately 450 volunteers since the first day of our operation and we couldn’t be more grateful for that! God bless you all!
Al Marmoom riders have just completed an 8-week block of lessons, learning the western riding skills and they are on their way to the next one before our spring break.
Till next month…take care and see you at the stables!
January News 2018 January 2018
Happy New Year!!!
The start of each new year brings all of us an opportunity to feel fresh with renewed spirits, energy and enthusiasm. Our commitment to continue the life changing therapies for our students will remain strong into 2018.
To start with, first big event of the year was the 3rd annual Festival of Fun. On January 12th we welcomed to Al Marmoom Initiative an enthusiastic group of students with their lovely families and friends. Some of our students showed their abilities in riding a quite challenging western trail course. Face painting, puppet show, drum show, cooking classes in the greenhouse, piano and singing, dancing and yoga teaching kept our guests busy. A dedicated team of volunteers had been preparing this event for 3 months! Big thank you to all of you who contributed to this big success! You may enjoy the photo gallery below!
We also take this opportunity to thank all the students and teachers from the Indian High School of Dubai who came on January 17th to visit us and give a hand at the stables and greenhouse. Around 11 boys, 14 years old, joined us along with their teachers and made the stable shinning like never before! They helped at the facility maintenance, the Desert challenge and the greenhouse. They enjoyed asking questions about horses and plants and promised they will be back soon! Thank you!
Al Marmoom riders have been back to the saddle for a new block of lessons since January 7th . Staff, horses and volunteers look forward eagerly to working together with all of you in 2018 to continue strengthen and improve our activities and our center. See you at the stables!!!
December News 2017 December 2017
As 2017 comes to an end, we all think back through this year and count our achievements, our pending goals and set our future plans. Al Marmoom team would like to share the last news for 2017 with you.
December has had lots of fun as we hosted a high-spirited party on the 8th of the month to express our gratitude to the volunteers who help this center work smoothly and benefit the lives of our students. The Volunteer Appreciation day included food, music, dance, funny games and pony rides for our guests. We would like to thank everyone who supported us on that day by offering special gifts and vouchers for our volunteers to enjoy exceptional culinary experiences and wellbeing treatments! Another entertainment day that was held in the city on December 15th took place at the beautiful Zabeel park. The annual Family Fun day, under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was dedicated to people with special needs in the UAE and we couldn’t miss that! Al Marmoom Team with our staff, horses and volunteers took part in the event, whilst some of our students with their families had the opportunity to spend a day full of joy, ride horses, dance, play and enjoy themselves with the various activities available.
Back to the stables, Al Marmoom riders were able to complete another 4-week schedule, gaining more experience and, thus, feeling stronger to go for bigger challenges. Moreover, we were more than happy to welcome a group of students from Sharjah Social Empowerment Foundation later this month. A lovely bunch of smiley faces, who worked like small bees in the greenhouse, helped at the stable and had the pleasure to ride our amazing horses.
We are grateful for the work already accomplished this year and know more things are to come. The classes are on a break from December 24th till January 6th when we will be back refreshed for the new year. We are excited about the future! Before saying goodbye to 2017, we have already started the preparations for our next big event. The 3rd annual Al Marmoom Festival of Fun which, amongst other, will include the horse competitions where our students will show their abilities. Don’t miss the date January 12th , 2018!
We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and a happy, healthy and blessed New Year!
November News 2017 November 2017
As November comes to its end and winter is just around the corner, we would like to share some of our monthly news with you.
We are excited to have all our students finishing the first block of lessons after 8 weeks of hard work. We are so proud of them! We also take this opportunity to thank all the amazing volunteers who offer selflessly their precious help every week. Moreover, we are glad for the assistance we had this month from Estee Lauder staff, who also came to volunteer with us.
During this month we ‘ve had a new entry to our therapy horses herd. Pablo is officially one of our therapy horses, as he did very well during his training period and now he can assist our students achieve their goals and more individuals can benefit from him. Welcome sweet Pablito!!
We also would like to thank little Barney for his time at Al Marmoom. Barney is going back to his owners this month and we hope he will have a quiet and happy life. Barney has served as one of the four-legged therapists at Al Marmoom since 2016. Many participants, volunteers and friends of Al Marmoom family benefited from his spirit. He will not be forgotten for the impact he made on the lives of the individuals he worked with. Thank you, Barney, you’ve been an amazing little colleague!
Finally, we couldn’t forget to mention the upcoming events. The Volunteer Appreciation Day on December 8th and The Family Fan Day on December 15th will be lots of fun. There is a dedicated group of volunteers leading this effort and we cannot wait! In the meantime, see you at the stables!
May, June, July, August, September, October 2017 October 2017
To celebrate the launch of the 2017 season, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone that has helped in the progress and development of our unique center. Since its inception 3 years ago, our project has grown to be the biggest in Dubai, giving opportunity for people with physical and mental disabilities that may have never dreamed of handling a horse. The bond created between the participants and our horses is comforting, relaxing, joyful and therapeutic. Moreover, of the same importance are the benefits that parents and caregivers gain by watching their children’s achievements.
Special thanks should be paid to Annie Haresign, manager of Al Marmoom, for her big efforts and hard work she put to help our center grow. Annie said goodbye to us during the summer of 2017. We all wish her the best in her new endeavors. She will be missed. Thank you Annie!
As we say goodbye to Annie, we are pleased to welcome our new instructor Athanasia Prentza from Greece, who has recently joined the team and will be leading the Hippotherapy section of our center. We wish her a pleasant stay in our city and a great new beginning. Welcome on board Athanasia!
For the season 2017-2018, we have already scheduled new and exciting projects. To start with, our center participated on the 15th September at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, in cooperation with Dhabian Equestrian Centre. A great experience for students, horses and team that gave us all the confidence of being ready for new challenges!
April News 2017 April 2017
April was another extraordinary month for the students of the Al Marmoom Initiative with plenty of growing and harvesting in the Greenhouses to Pony Club action with the horses.
With the temperature quickly increasing here in the Desert, riding students focused on completing their Mini road-rider course, mastering the ‘Desert Challenge’ and for some of our advanced students – complete and pass their UK Pony Club E Standard certificate. By the end of the month, riding had to stop due to the heat and lessons continued in the barn and ‘stable management’ sessions became the next challenge for our Equestrians. First the students had to learn how to groom their horse-friends and learn which brushes they should use to make the ponies clean and shine.
In the Greenhouse, there’s always plenty of changes with plants growing tall and strong with the students helping our gardeners keep the greenhouse well watered and clean. Our tomato harvest is proving to be a bumper crop with delicious tasting red fruit. Students love to help pick the crops, weigh the produce and pack them ready to go to kitchens all over Dubai
March News 2017 March 2017
Another month… and the action just gets more exciting for the students of the Al Marmoom Initiative. March saw yet more ‘firsts’ as the students competed against able-bodied competitors at the ‘Horse & Hound’ show at Al Habtoor’s Polo and Equestrian club. This was the first of its kind here in the UAE organized by Centre Manager, Annie. A Western Trail course that would challenge the most competent of riders together with a dressage ‘Walk Test’, competitors of all ages certainly enjoyed taking part and of course the Al Marmoom Performance team were in the ribbons.
Students have been busy as ever working on their ‘Mini road rider’ Pony club badge. The riders have been learning road signs and hand signals and putting these new skills into practice on the Centre’s outdoor ‘Desert Challenge’. For many of these riders, recognizing symbols and then coordinating the appropriate response is a huge task. The coaching staff and volunteers couldn’t be more proud of their efforts.
February News 2017 February 2017
Four lovely students from Kings’ school’s new Autism class join us every Thursday morning from February 23rd onwards. The Al Barsha based children are very much looking forward to learning skills in the Greenhouse and with our horses.
Students from SNF school working our homemade ‘T-junction’. Our students need to pass the Mini road rider badge before attempting the UK Pony Club ‘E Standard’ test. Fingers crossed everyone!
The Emirates Stud and Retirement home, Hatta, for all their support and gifts this month. It’s thanks to their amazing team that we now have a new ‘pony’, a wooden training horse that will help those working on their position and mounting / dismounting skills – a competition will be held to name him or her very soon! Don’t worry we will adding horse features a.s.a.p.
And thank you to the amazing team from the ‘Sheraton Hotel’ who visited us again to lend a hand to maintain our Centre – fantastic team
Emma, co-founder of the charity ‘Horseback UK’ had a successful visit to Al Marmoom. Emma was helping us prepare our very own ‘horsemanship / horse communication’ courses for those with emotional disabilities. Watch out, Annie will be looking for ‘volunteers’ to test out her new program!
January News 2017 January 2017
The month of January certainly ‘kick started’ a brand new exciting year for the Al Marmoom Initiative. The team at Al Habtoor Polo and Equestrian club organised an event where we were able to take part in a number of classes with our students.
Eight of our riders negotiated their way round a Western Trail course and then completed a Dressage test. This is most likely the first event of its kind in the UAE where able and disabled-bodied riders can compete shoulder to shoulder at an event. Thank you Al Habtoor and well done to our riders.
The Al Marmoom Initiative is now an approved British Horse Society Riding Centre – months of hard work has paid off and we now are very proud to be part of this forward-thinking organisation.
Our volunteers have been very active as ever – from Dewald completing another ‘Ironman’ to the team from Jumeirah Al Qasr hotel, Dubai flexed their muscles by helping us resurface our round pen areas. Thanks and well done to our amazing volunteers, you are all amazing.
January also saw Al Marmoom’s newest supporter, Emma Hutchison, visit the Centre. Emma is co-founder of the UK charity ‘Horseback UK’ and is here to give staff training and assess horses for our next project. Emma certainly enjoyed exchanging the winter weather of the North of Scotland for our Dubai sun!
More horsey news – Lennie the Clydesdale and Pablo the Quarter horse have graduated to becoming lesson horses. Our students love these gentle giants and already there’s a long list of riders keen to try them out. And our little friend, Barney, has mastered his new role as a driving pony. Go Barney, go!
And in the Greenhouses there’s been more progress too. We now have three Movenpic Hotels from down town Dubai keen to use Al Marmoom’s delicious vegetables and herbs. Our tomatoes are seemingly some of the tastiest around! New organic seeds have also been recently delivered and our students are busy planting up seed trays with the next batch of exciting varieties. Watch out for our new cucumbers – they’re very unusual.
December 2016 News December 2016
The past few weeks at the Al Marmoom Initiative has been action-packed as ever. All students have completed their second block of training and have completed their Gardening and Basic Riding assessments too. To celebrate their achievements, ‘The Festival of Fun 2016’ was held at the Centre. More than 160 attended and all 40 riders, drivers and handlers demonstrated their skills to family and friends.
Judging the basic riding skills test was Para-dressage rider, Belinda Gaitland, who was impressed at the riders’ position and balance: “It’s amazing to see the progress that these young people have managed over just a few short weeks. There are certainly some superstars in the making here”.
The Desert Challenge was officially opened this month too. The course, built just outside the Centre, is designed to test the riders’ basic riding, coordination and obstacle negotiation skills. Many of the ‘challenges’ are based on Western Trail obstacles that encourage the horse to look where he’s putting his hooves and test the rider’s control of the horse.
The Al Marmoom Initiative is part of UK’s ‘The Pony Club’. Ten volunteers and coaches from the Centre attended the latest Continuous Professional Development (CPD) day at Al Habtoor’s amazing Equestrian development and learned from one of the UK’s leading Pony Club Instructors. Al Marmoom’s team can’t wait to start their students on the Pony Club programme in the coming months.
Nowember 2016 News November 2016
November was a fast and furious month for the students, staff and volunteers of the Al Marmoom Initiative. Block 2 started with ‘Basic Riding’ as the weather is now cool enough to saddle up for more weekly challenges. Students have been learning the basics while perfecting their balance on horseback. November has also been a creative month for the students who have been working with Simone and creating beautiful art using horseshoes.
The ‘Farm Shop’ is up and running and will welcome customers to purchase some of the delicious vegetables on sale. Students will be adding their art work to the walls to show how they’ve been enjoying their gardening sessions.
The Centre has always been a hive of activity but this month even more visitors have made their way to a very special part of the desert. Dubai’s Medical College for Women and GEMS World Academy all sent groups of willing volunteer students to help the staff make the sessions even more fun. And the Arabian Ranches Ladies group also spared some time to check out the numerous activities. All those who visit Al Marmoom are amazed at the wide range of disciplines and events that are conducted on site.
October 2016 News October 2016
October 2016 brought even more developments for the Al Marmoom Initiative.
Block one’s ‘Showmanship’ course, lasting six weeks, came to an end and produced plenty of happy graduates with their rosettes and achievement sheets.
Greenhouse activities were also in full bloom with plenty of flowerpots on sale and a large range of vegetables too. A bumper crop of cucumbers, radish and rocket has been prepared and packed by our students. Our customers have all said they’ve been the best they’ve ever tasted!
More new students have signed up to enjoy the Al Marmoom experience. Dubai Club for the Disabled had an official ceremony where the students and staff enjoyed a Saturday morning getting to know the horses and site.
Rashid School have also started their equine therapy programme using our Al Marmoom equines who’ve been paying the school a ‘home visit’. Folla and Ajeeb were more than happy to take a drive into Dubai and work in the School’s beautiful gardens.
September News September 2016
The new outdoor riding season has begun! With 5 schools attending in the weekdays and many individuals at the weekends we already have more than 80 students a week benefiting from our Riding and Greenhouse sessions. We have also completed 4 volunteer training sessions, training around 50 volunteers and an assistant coach session. We were very excited as we saw our first produce from our greenhouses ! This was all from the hard work of the special needs students and volunteers.
August News August 2016
The greenhouse lessons were in full swing in Aug. Students now are learning how to plant and care for different types of crops in our temperature controlled greenhouses they love getting involved with nature and seeing their hard work grow. Stable management lessons continued indoor whilst the weather was still hot and the preparation for the next riding season was well underway. This season will be bigger and better than the last !
July News July 2016
Even during the heat of the summer Al Marmoom didn’t slow down. The Al Marmoom Greenhouses are in the final stages of preparation and we hope to have them launched and operational by Sep. The is a very exciting new project for us and will help provide vocational positions and income for a sustainable business in farming. Our volunteers continued to help out with DIY, maintenance, cleaning and horse exercising, we love our volunteers.
June News June 2016
Our Stable Management classes continued and so did the commitment of our fabulous volunteers . We had one of our quarterly clean up days where a army of hardworking ladies and gents scrubbed, brushed, polished and washed the stables . Thank you all we could not do it without you.
Volunteer coffee morning May 2016
It was a great to catch up with so many of our amazing volunteers at our coffee morning. We got some great feedback and ideas and then tried to get ourselves out of a human knot and challenged some to a game of ‘What am I’. A huge thank you to Sheraton Dubai, Mall of the Emirates Hotel who sponsored our meeting and are so actively involved in giving back to the community. THANK YOU SHERATON
May Students May 2016
A few tough students continued their outdoor riding lessons despite the heat. We also started our full time indoor stable management program which teaches the students practical tasks to care for horses and ponies. We held our volunteer coffee morning and had the Marriott team volunteered with us for a day to help the with the Senses School visit.
April Students April 2016
With more than 45 students riding weekly we started to wind down our outdoor riding due to the hot weather. AL Marmoom will be running indoor stable management classes throughout the summer where students learn how to care for our lovely horses. We had a new member of the Team join us Emir who will be looking after all the admin and volunteer coordination.
March Students March 2016
As our student numbers rose so did the fun! We now have a total of 40 students riding and taking part in stable management classes weekly. Some of our volunteers took part in first aid courses and we had a bit of rain which meant there was more swimming than riding for a week!
Feb Students February 2016
Marmoom now has more than 30 students benefiting from equine therapy every week. This is an amazing achievement in our first season and its thanks to our fantastic staff and volunteers that this has been possible. We continue to see amazing results from the riding and stable management sessions and are always developing new activities and tasks to push our students development.
Al Marmoom first annual BBQ January 2016
On Jan 15th we held the first annual BBQ and celebrated our amazing first few months since opening. Thank you to all who attended and helped with the event. 100 students and volunteers ate, played games and enjoyed balloon bending and face painting . With 300 riding hours and more than 500 hours volunteered we are overjoyed with the venues progress and look forward to a even bigger future helping special needs individuals . If you want to be part of our team please email email@example.com
Autism Awareness talk with Sarah Baker January 2016
On the 29th of January Ms Sarah Baker of the Dubai Autism center gave a talk to our volunteers and outside visitors. She spoke in detail about the challenges faced by Autistic individuals and the best way to approach those who have this diagnosis. She also gave more information about the wide spectrum of Autism and the degrees of the syndrome.
King Hamad Al Khalifa and Sheikh Nasser Al KHalifa visit January 2016
On Jan 6th we were honored to receive HM King Hamad Al Khalifa and HH Sheikh Nasser Al Khalifa to Al Marmoom Equine Therapy. Both His Majesty and His Highness are supporters of our venue and are committed to developing special needs individuals throughout the region. King Hamad and Sheikh Nasser met some of our students, volunteers and horses at the venue. They were shown a lesson by one of our most experienced pupils Hamooudi who has been riding for many years. Al at Marmoom enjoyed the Royal visit a great deal and look forward to welcoming both King Hamad and Sheikh Nasser again soon.
Rashid Pediatric School visit December 2015
The children and adults from Rashid school joined us for a BBQ and karaoke morning in December. The students enjoyed a fun filled time with dancing, singing and spending time with our lovely horses. Al Marmoom works very closely with schools and residential centers like Rashid to provide recreational therapy to those with special needs.
November Students December 2015
As the weather got even cooler more amazing students have been riding and taking part in our stable management classes in the month of November. Students of all ages from all over Dubai have been enjoying the benefits of the interaction with our wonderful horses. Take a look at some of these students here..
Greenhouse planting November 2015
Here at Al Marmoom we are committed to the all round development of individuals with special needs, part of this is our brand new greenhouse project. Through this project we aim to teach special needs adults how to plant, look after and harvest, vegetables, plants, flowers and fruit. Hamooudi and his class from the Al Rashid Centre in Dubai planted the first seeds. Watch this space on our newest project!
October Students October 2015
Its been a busy October here at Al Marmoom, the weather is now perfect and we have been visited by children and adults of all ages and nationalities. A huge thank you to all our hard working committed volunteers making this possible. Check out our gallery to see some of the fantastic classes our students are taking part in.
Volunteer Training with RDA UK October 2015
More than 35 volunteers attended Al Marmoom’s training sessions on the 9th and 10th of October. The classes were conducted by RDA UK coach Jane Barker who had flown in from the UK to assist us in preparing our volunteers. The sessions covered all aspects of a riding lesson with a special needs individual including, preparing the horse, mounting and dismounting procedures, leading, side walking and safety procedures. Al Marmoom now looks forward to the newly trained volunteers starting their lessons with our students. If you are interested in volunteering please fill out the form on the contact us page.
Senses Residential Centre Visit September 2015
Pupils from Senses Residential Centre for individuals with special needs enjoyed a fun filled morning with us. Ten pupils from age 6 to 35 learnt how to fill hay nets ready for horse feeding, spent time grooming the horses and then had a chance to feed them with their favorite snack, carrots. Many of the pupils had never been in contact with a horse and were extremely happy to be able to make friends with our wonderful horses. We are now preparing for these students to start their riding classes and stable management lessons in the next few days. Thank you to the volunteers who assisted in this event, it was the perfect start to our long term commitment to Senses Residential Centre.
Volunteer Open Day September 2015
More than 40 committed volunteers attended our first volunteer open day held on 5th Sep 2015. These volunteers were given a tour and detailed information on the venue they will be helping run. The attendees met all the horses, were shown an example of a lesson and how they would be involved in the day to day running. The volunteers at Al Marmoom are integral to our operation and the development of the pupils. By maintaining consistency we ensure the comfort of the pupils helping them to develop to their maximum potential.
RDA Visit July 2015
RDA consultant Jane Barker flew in from the UK for one of her regular trips to Al Marmoom , as we follow the UK RDA syllabus and guidelines we regularly take advice and host members from the UK. These experts assist and advise on best practices and the newest techniques available. This constant ongoing training ensures we are giving the best possible therapy to our students.