The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) in the UK help over 17,000 disabled children and adults.
The riding provide therapy, fitness, skills development and opportunities for achievement. They are supported by 13,000 volunteers and qualified coaches at nearly 500 RDA centres all over the UK.
The Stockeld Park RDA meet at the Harrogate Riding Centre, each Tuesday -that’s in Brackenthwaite, near to Burnbridge.
Pam Hammett chairman of Stockeld Park RDA said:
We do four sessions each week, on Tuesday, that’s two on the morning, and two in the afternoon.
The children learn to ride, and they thoroughly enjoy it. They love sitting on the ponies, and develop a special bond. There is the warmth from the pony, and the 3-dimensional movement. As the children get older they learn to do more things with the ponies, such as trotting.
We do a lot of fundraising so don’t need to make any charges.
We are always open to volunteers, we give training, but if they are volunteers that have been around disabled children, they often know what to do anyway.
But the main problem we have now is that we are really short of ponies, particularly in our afternoon sessions.
We really need is anyone out there who would be able to bring a couple of ponies along for a couple of hours each week in term time.
Today, for instance, we have one pony that is sick, so we don’t have enough ponies for all the riders.
In past we have had ponies of all types, including competition ponies. Many seem to recognise they have a child on them.
If you have the time, and perhaps a pony just in a field, we would greatly appreciate the use of them, and I know the children would.