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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Bennett

Ally's Story

Keeping the ponies at Shelley fit and healthy is a hard job in winter.  They dislike the cold wet weather and need extra food and hay to keep them going.  It means that any rides out of the yard are confined to the roads as the bridleways are too wet and muddy.  Rain also results in our therapeutic riding sessions being cancelled or confined to using Ebony, our mechanical horse.  Hopefully, spring is now on the way and everyone will be feeling better.


If you have a loved one living with dementia and with a love of animals, why not bring them to the Centre on Wednesday afternoons for ‘Tea with a Pony’ so that our team of trained and sympathetic volunteers can introduce them to a pony.  They will be able to stroke or groom one of our very special animals and each session is followed by tea and cake.  Visits cost £10 a time.  Book via the website or call Cherry on 07960 912056.


To illustrate how we assist our riders, this is Ally’s story:  Ally has been coming to the Centre for 24 years since the age of six and loves the ponies and his riding.  Sadly, last year he had a massive seizure and stroke that left him without the use of his left arm and leg and wheelchair bound.  But the Shelley staff and volunteers, with the help of Carol the Physio, ensured he could continue to ride, using a hoist to get him onto Ebony and undertake exercises to strengthen his core muscles and improve movement.  This has been key part of his recovery.   Ally was so happy to be back at Shelley and looks forward to his Wednesday afternoon sessions.


To help fund our amazing work at Shelley we are undertaking a number of events this year, starting on Sunday 5th May with a Walk through the stunning countryside around the Centre, finishing up with tea, coffee and homemade cakes.  The walk starts at 10am, covers about 6 miles and will cost you £5 (children free). Just turn up – no need to book.   And of course, we will be at the Hadleigh Show on 18th May, selling plants and delicious home-make cakes.  Hope to see you there!


If you aren’t able to get involved directly in our fund raising events we are always very grateful for donations to support our work.  Please visit the website for more information.






Website: www.shelleyrda.com                              Telephone: 01473 824172



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