The Seymour centre for Riding for Disabled has provided an opportunity for riders to have fun, increase self esteem and get a chance to love and learn about horses.
The Telegraph looks at some of the horses that make it possible for Riding for Disabled to operate here in Seymour.
I am one of those lucky horses whose kind, sensible owner donated me to RDA.
My name is Splinter and I had been hanging around my paddock for yonks as my main rider had gone off to university and no longer came home.
So, I was offered to RDA Seymour.
Yippee for fortunate me. Lots of attention, not too much exercise, lovely holidays and special kids to care for.
I mean how good is this? So the least I can do is never put a handsome hoof wrong and be very tolerant to my riders who are all trying so hard.
I am 15hands and a beautiful chestnut.
Being bigger than the ponies, I get a lot of work with the older children which is rewarding as most of them are mastering this riding caper.
I see my main job is to instil confidence. I don’t believe in spooking at things and try to always do what I am asked although sometimes that is a bit hard to work out.
It is really special when my riders don’t need side walkers and even more special when they are brave enough to ride all by themselves.
They are only allowed to do this when we are in the arena.
Once out in the obstacle course that boss lady says we have to have a helper because there are so many options the kids (and me) have trouble deciding what to do. I reckon I could manage okay but evidently she says no.
My favourite rider is Samantha who has been riding for years with me — she can get on and off all by herself and stop and start as well as steering.
It has taken a long time for her to be brave enough to ride by herself but now she even likes going in races and over the jumps.
I am very proud of her. Last week we won the leading race — pretty cool!
I also get some of the bigger boys who just like action. I do my best and we have fun if they remember to behave themselves.
— Gay Lewis,
RDA head coach
●For more on RDA, see page 9 of today’s Telegraph.