The impact lockdown is having on some of our riders, who gain so much from attending our riding sessions, is huge – both physically and mentally. We have adapted our services and are now running Quiet Corner sessions which give participants a chance to safely return.
The Yard Staff have trained our experienced volunteers in the new hygiene procedures and safety requirements required by the Quiet Corner activities. There won’t be any riding to begin with but there’ll be a chance for our riders to spend time with their favourite ponies. Brushing them, talking to them and reconnecting with pony friends will be a wonderful first step back to our routine. As the RDA motto states: “It’s what you can do that counts”.
Over the course of ten weeks participants will learn the correct names for parts of the horse and basic tack. They develop numeracy and increase their vocabulary through multi-sensory exercises which add focus and interest, designed and supported by qualified coaches. In addition, school staff will be able to supplement their learning with RDA Grade 1, 2, and 3 Riding and Horse Care training aids. Disabled children learn that the tasks they are capable of doing matter as grooming and correct tacking up directly impact on the horses well-being. The primary emotional benefit comes from the relationships that develop among riders, volunteers, horses, and staff.
Jake’s relaxed, happy and inquisitive attitude means that he is excellent within the Quiet Corner and Stable Management sessions. He is a good height to allow easy access for the participants to groom and pat while his quiet nature will allow the participants to move around him while he stands quietly, giving confidence to everyone who he works with.
Jake has also recently been helping us with the training of our volunteers, to increase their awareness of the Covid restrictions which are in place at the present time. And also to allow them to practice for the return of more riders who require additional assistance after restrictions are reduced to a point where the participants can be led in lessons.
Hippotherapy has been able to restart for existing riders who have proven to have had a significant setback in their physical progress since their therapy sessions were halted in March. Jake had proven invaluable within these sessions due to the regularity and amount of movement within his gait and his willing demeanour which allows for his pace to be adjusted for each element of the therapy session. He is willing to go faster and slower within his walk to allow the rider to get the best out of the exercise which they are doing without having to change horses.
We are extremely grateful for the continued support from the Royal Caledonian Charities Trust during such a challenging year. Jake is a valued member of the RDA Glasgow Group family and he is willing to take on any task set, even dunking for apples! Thank you so much for sponsoring our much-loved pony.