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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Bennett

Welcome to the New Year!

The winter months bring unpredictable weather which makes caring for our ponies challenging. It also means we can’t always use them for our Riding for the Disabled (RDA) sessions. Rarely are sessions cancelled – because I’m here to be used. I’m Ebony, the mechanical horse, situated in a warm room out of the weather. The physical therapy I give is as good as being on one of my real-life friends, and I can provide a variety of paces – walk, trot and canter. But RDA is much more than exercising the body. Our attitude is to get our clients to access and enjoy riding and engaging with the horses to the maximum of their ability.

The photo shows Lesley, who uses me to help her recover from a dreadful fall off her own horse.

Across the UK over 25,000 people of all ages and abilities ride or carriage drive with one of the 500 RDA groups. And did you know, there are similar groups right across world? At every group, our coaches are trained and qualified to deliver the best possible experience, based on our clients’ needs, ambition or therapeutic goals. Our clients include children and adults with physical and learning disabilities and autism. The difference that riding and being with the horses makes is amazing and often life-changing.

As well as our amazing riders, coaches and stable manager, the Shelley Centre is blessed with many dedicated and hard-working volunteers. They help with the RDA sessions; look after and exercise the ponies during the holidays and weekends; undertake general admin and maintenance tasks around the yard and raise funds to keep the Centre going. If you’d like to join this fantastic and friendly team, why not give the Centre a call and come up and meet us and see how you can help. And of course, you can always help by supporting our fund raising activities or giving us a donation. Please see our website for details.

Website: Telephone: 01473 824172

Ebony Blog January 2024
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