Tag Archives: RDA

Horse and Rider

Well, Wednesday finally arrived. The day started chilly and ended bloody cold. First thing this morning the district nurse came to introduce herself and bring some syringes in case Ju needs an emergency morphine injection at night. That at least meant we were OK for a game of darts before going out. Ju has been saving coins for a while ( mainly from emptying my pockets for me) and once we found out our little girl is pregnant promised to buy a ‘travel system’ which I understand comprises of a pram/pushchair and car seat plus things I can’ remember. Today the bank hated her as she went to change what she (we) had which came to £190.00. Might even be enough left over to buy an iced lolly if it’s warm when the baby gets here in August.

After the bank we took a thank you car and plant into Kassidy’s our local cafe who have been collecting for the Pennant Park Wishes Charity. Carl who owns Pennant Park Riding School had asked us to deliver them when we went to say hello yesterday.He had some excellent news for us- they’ve just started the building work. It’s really fantastic to think that in as little as two weeks the indoor school could be up. It seems planning permission went through like a dream with neighbours even writing in letters of support.

The hard part now is either to raise enough money or find a firm that will sponsor a hydraulic hoist ( or scissor lift)to get the disabled up to the level of the horses to make them easy to mount. The sooner that’s done, the sooner accreditation to the RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) is given and we can get more disabled children and adults on the backs of horses. The therapy and amount of freedom this gives them is wonderful. The one RDA stables that covers this area is a long way away and has a long waiting list for once weekly three quarter hour sessions. We’d like to see that changed.

Anyway back to the story. We were expecting to meet someone at the cafe, someone we’d met about three years ago and until recently I’d only known as baby-lady because she’d just had a baby at that time. Somehow we found out she’d just left the forces and only just had the baby who was a little sweetie. I left her £10 to buy the baby a present and we’d sort of been friends ever since but with long gaps between meetings. This was to be the first organised meeting and she’d just found out how ill Ju is. It seems she couldn’t make it. So, I had a pot of tea and Ju a bucket ( a coffee in a mug you need two hands for). Then amazingly she decided she was hungry and ordered tomatoes on toast. I didn’t want her to have to eat alone so I forced myself to have a bacon sandwich. I’m brave like that. Really Ju was sulking because the lunchtime special is Simon’s Spag Bol which she loves and since it was still breakfast time she couldn’t have it. We finished and I went to pay but Chris refused. I challenged her to arm wrestle me and beat her so she had to accept payment. I’m lucky Si(mon) was doing the cooking.  “See you later” Chris said but I thought it was just one of those throw away remarks people make. We went home and while Ju tackled one of her House Auction programmes I settled to do the 94 emails I’d received since knocking off after my 5.am – 8.30 am shift. I’m convinced every crook with a story of untouchable millions, every con about suspended bank accounts and everyone who wants to tell me my lucky numbers knows my email address.

After what would have been lunch time had I not been forced to eat my sandwich we set off for the RDA stables. I was heart in my mouth all the way scared at what Ju might do to herself. Still, makes a change from being scared about what Ju will do to me I suppose. I’d just taken a seat in the indoor Siberian arena when the trainer announced she was going to give Ju tuition on the outdoor arena today. Muttering under my breath ( spells to warm me up honestly) I waited till Ju had mounted and followed. Mounting was one of the things I was most worried about with Ju’s distended stomach but because she was on the lift all was OK. Outside the below freezing wind was lazy and went through instead of around me. I leant on the gate, frozen in place, while Ju started doing diagonals, or rather the horse did them at Ju’s instruction but you knew what I meant, right?  As George ( the horse) walked Ju round I could see her smile and as she drifted past where I was welded she said “I’m loving this, loving it”. Then she got George to canter and far from being scared stiff I became spineless and was able to detach myself from the gate. I watched her going up and down with the smile plastered to her face. I’d had enough and went to wait in the car. It wasn’t many minutes more when I saw George returning sans Ju and then Ju, leaning on Di , her trainer, coming down the path. When she reached me she admitted she’d had a problem trying to dismount the normal way and had to bring her leg over the front and be helped to slide down. She was bushed but happy to be back after five weeks away. Di has told her that maybe in a couple of weeks she can have an extra lesson on a Sunday to make up for the losses. That’s really kind.

We stopped for a cuppa on the way home at a Supermarket where I got her a nice thick jumper in case this cold persists.It was such a nice day yesterday too. We were home by about 4. pm and Ju had a fancy for food again. If riding makes her eat I’ll find a stable to take her twice a day. Her passion was for fish finger sandwiches of all things so I had a tiny pizza. I washed the pots while Ju went to get changed. She goes to bed quite early for comfort and of course she gets tired quite quickly. She hadn’t reached that stage when I had to shout her to open the front door. There were Si and Chris with a large bouquet of flowers for Ju ( rank favouritism) and also two plates of Si’s spag bol for us which we”ll hopefully have tomorrow. They’re a really nice couple and Chris was having fun feeding chocolate drops to the girls while trying to remember which one she dare not risk her finger with. So many people with just so much heart out there it quite chokes me up. There’s hope for mankind after all. More hope if I was getting the bouquets but I suppose I can’t have everything.

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Pennant Park Wishes.

 

 

 

 

I know that I have previously made mention of Pennant Park Riding Centre where Julia visits. She being the one who loves horses and me being the bystander who goes along for her sake you wouldn’t expect me to wax lyrical on the subject. Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t but circumstances are not normal these day are they ?

The owner of Pennant Park is Carl Crofts. He’s a nice person, a highly skilled riding instructor  with a very pleasant manner and huge dreams. Pennant is a lovely property as you can see from the link  http://www.pennantparkridingcentre.com/ . There are good grounds, and plenty of nice hacks in the area. For newcomers or for those who want to learn dressage there is a good arena. The problem is when the weather is bad ( and bear in mind this is the UK so more bad than good) the arena can’t be used. Because the arena is uncovered Carl is limited as to the people he can train there and of course the income goes down when the open arena is out of use.

Julia does her riding/training at an RDA ( Riding for the Disabled) stables about twenty five miles away. Carl and his wife Storm would love to be RDA approved so that he could help the disabled youngsters in the area learn to be comfortable around horses and help them, along with disabled adults to get pleasure from riding that often helps with other problems too. I’d love to see this happen since obviously it would mean not having to travel so far for Julia to ride. In order to become approved for RDA there must be a covered arena with a lift to help get the disabled onto their horses.  Herein lied the problem as Carl cannot raise such funding when he loses so much income due to the vagaries of our weather. What’s needed is an influx of goodwill from businesses, maybe corporate sponsorship. After all. it can’t do any harm to have a little board ‘Sponsored By….’ somewhere around an arena to be seen by visiting parents etc.

So, if you have a business or know of a business who’d be prepared to help by putting some sort of building around the arena, or providing a small lift that takes people up to the height of a horses back……  Don’t be shy. If you’re part of a group of businesses on a trading estate perhaps you could get everyone together to bring this dream to fruition not just for Carl but for generations of disabled and able bodied children who could use these facilities. You’ll find contact details on the link.

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