Sheffield Group Riding for the Disabled

 

Our riders

Our ponies

Our volunteers

Our riders

It is well recognised by the medical profession that interacting with animals can help overcome mental and physical disabilities. Horse riding has a beneficial effect in that it calms the riders, promotes gentle movements and exercise, allows independent movement, gives them something to look forward to and a routine, and allows them to experience 'the countryside'. Although younger children tend to be catered for by the NHS unfortunately this is not always the case with older children and adults with disabilities and the opportunities of affordable therapies are limited. Generally sports and the supervision that is required for disabled people are expensive and so our group allows us to offer gentle and exciting horse riding that may otherwise be unavailable to the people and their families.

Thursday night  lesson at Cowley

Thursday night session at Cowley Riding School

 

The people who attend our riding sessions have a range of physical and learning disabilities, for example, autism, speech and language problems (echolalia, selective mutism), movement difficulties (unstable or unco-ordinated movement, paraplegia), behavioural problems, etc. Sheffield Group Riding for the Disabled is the only group in the region that provides these opportunities and the families and teachers acknowledge and appreciate the contribution that our sessions of horse riding make to their lives.

Our ponies

Yorkie Casper Connor Crunchie
Yorkie Casper Connor Crunchie
Rockie Dream Fred Muddle
Rockie Dream Fred Muddle
  Rhyme    
  Rhyme    

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Our volunteers

Our group could not function without our volunteers. Around 40 people help every week during school term times giving about 1.5 hours of their time. They do a variety of tasks and do have some experience of horses. Tasks include:

~ tacking up and untacking horses ~

~ helping riders mount and dismount ~

~ leading the ponies/horses ~

~ side walking to help ensure that the riders follow instructions and are steady ~

~ manure picking ~

~ helping make lessons fun and informative ~

Training is an important part of RDA and it is RDA’s policy that volunteers should not undertake any RDA activity for which they have not received the appropriate training or about which they do not feel confident. To support this our qualified riding instructors train the volunteers completing all the sections of a Basic Training Record Card (a Green Card). On completion, an RDA Volunteers Certificate is presented.

Many young people join us as part of their work experience or as partial completion of their Duke of Edinburgh award. Volunteering for RDA is considered commendable by employers on a CV.

All volunteers comply with present regulations and must agree to an enhanced Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check.

Many of the volunteers have been known to the riding schools for many years as they ride themselves.

WANTED – ENTHUSIASTIC VOLUNTEERS

If you would like to help at either Cowley Riding School (Holmesfield, Sheffield) or Smeltings Farm Riding School (Ringinglow, Sheffield), even if it is every other week or so, please contact Michael on 01246 413211 who will give you the contact details for your Group Organiser. You will be asked to download and complete an application form and send it to your Group Organiser.

The following links provide further information:

Therapy Tracker: the Results (March 2014)

Our commitment to volunteers (pdf)

Child Protection Policy (pdf)

What is a green card? (pdf)

Risk assessment (pdf)

Health & Safety (pdf)

Disabilities and medical conditions (pdf)

CRB checks (pdf)

Riding for the Disabled Association website (opens in new tab)

 

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man

~ Winston Churchill ~

 

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