Riding Disabled Association
For many years, with the help of the Berwickshire branch of the RDA, pupils at the BHS have been extremely fortunate in being able to enjoy going riding. From it’s early days, outside and using the ponies of the volunteer helpers, to the present time with an indoor school and dedicated horses and ponies, numerous children have discovered the delights of being around horses and learning to ride. Staffed by volunteers, and depending solely on charitable donations the RDA allows children the chance to learn basic horse care, points of the horse, grooming, as well as general horse and stable management. With the facilities available, everyone – including wheelchair users – can be mounted and dismounted safely. Thanks to the dedication and help of volunteers, children are enabled to improve their balance and coordination, improve muscle tone, and to grow in confidence and self esteem. Imagine how exhilarating it must be for a wheelchair-bound child to experience trotting – the sense of speed, the power of the horse beneath them, and the freedom this engenders. Or the child with limited communication skills who gives their horse a pat and cuddle, a gesture saying more than any words could. From the first few weeks with a leader and side walker, to perhaps riding round the school and negotiating bending cones on their own, is a major achievement of which pupils are rightly proud. Pupils sit tests which assess not only their riding ability, but their knowledge of horse care, and every year there is an inter-group quiz which is hotly contested!
Volunteers are always needed, and anyone interested in helping out in any way should contact Margaret Morgan at Sunnyside farm, Reston or enquire at the school.