Clive tells it like it is

July 12, 2017

My name is Clive and I have been around for about five years doing my stuff by always being consistent and reliable.

The Seymour centre for Riding for Disabled has provided an opportunity for riders to have fun, increase self esteem and 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 another one of those lucky donated horses and my life definitely changed for the better when I arrived at Seymour.

My name is Clive and I have been around for about five years doing my stuff by always being consistent and reliable.

Being a standardbred, I am placid and sensible.

Actually RDA suits us standies (we are trotters and pacers) very well as rarely do we have to canter. In fact I don’t think I have ever cantered since I have been here.

Do you know the difference between a bay coloured horse and a brown horse?

A bay is a light brown horse with a black mane and tail, and a brown horse is brown all over with brown mane and tail.

I am a brown horse.

My main job is to take care of the bigger kids. Some of them are total beginners such as Seth, who is very tall and not very brave yet, but each week he is getting better and can now hold the reins all by himself.

My all-time special person is Kieran who has been riding me ever since I came here.

Kieran has perfect balance but it has taken us years to get him to hold the reins.

Now if he doesn’t, my leader stops me and we don’t move until he gets it right.

Guess what? It works a treat because more than anything Kieran likes going fast.

The boss lady is getting very strict.

One of her rules is to always have expectations of our riders and it is really interesting that they all respond.

There are now kids who us horses never expected to ride by themselves, and wonders-upon-wonders, they now do.

RDA world can be a bit tricky if you are a horse.

Firstly you have to learn to listen to your leader and not so much your rider and then as the rider gets better, you have to change again and listen to them.

We also have to get used to having side walkers, especially with our beginners.

Everyone starts with two side walkers and a leader and slowly, we lose a side walker then the second side walker goes and finally, hopefully we ditch the leader and then the fun really starts.

Some of the kids will always need lots of help and we take extra special care of them.

Because the side walkers have to reach up and hold on to the kids, we have a height limit of 15.2hh.

How many of you know a hh means hand, and is the worldwide method of measuring horses? A hand is 4inches.

The best thing about RDA is the holidays.

Every year I go and stay with my mate Socks at Milby Park where we are allowed to roam around getting lots of treats from my human mate Louise who, if we really get lucky, will actually take us for proper rides.

— Gay Lewis,

RDA head coach

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