Newbury RDA relies on the support of its volunteers, whether it is helping with the riding, fundraising, admin or general maintenance.
Each week we hold two riding sessions, morning and afternoon, Monday to Friday, and a Sunday morning. Saturday is a rest day for the ponies.
For each riding session needs a number of helpers in order to take place. For every rider there is a pony leader (in charge of the pony) and usually one or two side-helpers who walk alongside and assist the rider where necessary. As our riders have a range of physical and/or mental disabilities this may be either relaying instructions from the instructor (eg ‘Hands on head!’) or physical assistance or both. Whatever the case, we all enjoy the experience and the children think it’s great.
Sessions are 1 hour and the ponies need tacking up beforehand so it’s useful if you can turn up 30 minutes before the start. Untacking afterwards is usually followed by a cuppa and a chat.
No experience is necessary as training is provided.
Volunteers are expected to attend a chosen session on a regular basis, although we do understand that sometimes the unavoidable happens. This way, a good rapport with the children and the rest of the group is built up.