Peter’s Blog, from RDA training to Emily’s Birthday

We are sure that not many people know just how much training volunteers go through to help with the RDA but Peter explains more in his next blog installment.  So interesting to find out what sparks a person to start riding, read on to see what got Peter started!

Another busy week!  On Monday 24th we had our Wirral and Chester RDA training morning, which generally happens around this time every year.  As well as the usual refreshers on care of tack, rugging/un-rugging, and hat fitting (along with a run-through of the new hat standards), Ruth gave us a fascinating demonstration of how the horse’s movement can affect a rider with poor balance or core strength, plus some hints on what side walkers and leaders can do to help matters.  Merlin coped brilliantly with his new rider, Ted.  We can’t be absolutely sure, but we think it was Ted’s first time in the saddle too.  Ruth also compared and contrasted Drummer’s and Storm’s respective ways of going, and gave us an insight into how those might affect riders or influence the matching of riders to horses. The red strips on the horses’ rear ends in the photos were there to indicate the range of movement in their quarters.   An action-packed (if chilly) couple of hours, and really informative and enjoyable.

Thursday 27th saw me back with the RDA, plus another riding lesson on Linford, with Rachael teaching me again.  Progressing slowly (with the emphasis on the slowly) is a fair description, I think.

img_4085Next day, the 28th, it was my granddaughter Emily’s turn – one of her birthday presents was a lesson voucher.  This was her sixth lesson (Lucy was teaching on this occasion), and she was on Peanut for the first time.  He was a really good boy.  Only a matter of time before Emily overtakes Granddad at this riding lark!  She does have the advantage of having had her first lesson at the age of four.  Apart from a couple of afternoons pony trekking in my student days, I didn’t start until after I got my Stage 1 Care.  It was then that I realized that I was spending Thursdays leading a horse around (or occasionally being towed around by one) without having any idea what the img_4084-4experience was like for the person in the saddle.  So I decided to book a lesson to find out for myself.   The date, 31st May 2012, is etched on my memory (and probably elsewhere).   My first lesson was on Linford, and I spent the first week of June wondering whether I would ever walk normally again!  I suppose that’s what happens when you start riding at 65.  Anyway, I recovered, and continue thoroughly enjoying myself, if not getting anywhere fast.

Several of the Foxes RDA community had a trip up to the Horse and Pony Protection Association near Burnley on Sunday 30th for the RDA North West regional conference.  Always good to meet folk from other groups and, more seriously, a very informative day.  As well as an outline of the Association’s activities and a tour of its premises at Shore Hey Farm, there were presentations on nutrition, condition scoring, saddle fitting and fundraising.  And that was just the morning! After lunch there were demonstrations of RDA carriage driving, therapeutic games and drill rides, as well as the awards presentation.  Plus I won a men’s skincare kit in the raffle!  (Think I’ve left it a bit late, actually.)  A big thank-you to everyone, both RDA and HAPPA, involved in making it such a fantastic day.

Back soon!

Don’t forget like for Emily, Lesson Gift Vouchers make great presents and you can buy Lesson Gift Vouchers from the office, just ask Daisy the next time your in.  They make great stocking fillers (sorry for the early Christmas reference!)

Thank you Peter for your equestrian diaries, they are proving really popular on the Foxes website :0)

Now just before we go, do you have a story to tell us about how you came to fall under the spell of horses and start riding? how long have you been riding for? what age were you when you started riding, who’s your favourite Foxes Riding School horse or pony?, why not put a few words together with some pictures and email them to Sarah ( with your name and we can look to do a feature on some of you lovely clients.

The Foxes Team

The Foxes Crew