• Ebony

November 2021

I’m going to show off a little bit because these two photos of a Wednesday rider on me make me look quite good!

Not only am I wearing my saddle for this boy, his Coach has switched on the video for him to look at whilst riding. It is such fun seeing the countryside from up high on horseback as it were, whilst enjoying being undercover. The rains have arrived so every lesson, like this one, is an exercise in dodging the elements.

We don’t ask either adults or children to get soaked through, and none of the horses want to wear a rug on top of a very wet coat before going out to the fields at night. We are not like the keen souls who hunt during the winter. Talking of hunting, our rabbit population is beginning to take over the Shelley world again. The large field shelter in the boys’ field is like a Dutch cheese with all the holes in the ground those pesky bunnies make. Anyone for rabbit pie? Ferrets? Lurchers? Don’t wait to be asked!

Our first half of term flew by; hopefully the next five weeks will give everyone a chance to enjoy the therapy and improve their skills. Various riders will be asked to take part in our Nativity service over the coming days. This year’s Carols will take place entirely at the Shelley Centre, keeping everyone out in the open and safe. All the usual music, singing, readings and blessing of the live herd will happen as usual, but the mulled wine and mince pies will happen at the end of the service, when it will be dark and the Christmas lights look their very best.

November 5th might mean fireworks to some of you, but for the RDA family it’s a celebration of our Patron’s 50 years of service to this organisation. HRH the Princess Royal will be visiting the RDA’s National Training Centre that day and viewing the photographs and personal recollections of the many, many groups she has so consistently supported. I can’t resist putting up this photo of Princess Anne here with us at Shelley last year!