A Somerset riding stables has gained a national stamp of approval to enable more disabled people to experience the fun and freedom of horse riding. Thanks to its Accessibility Mark accreditation, Pevlings Farm Riding Stables, based in Templecombe, hopes to accommodate more disabled participants after successfully completing the training and criteria set out by the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).
The RDA, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.
The British Horse Society, Association of British Riding Schools and Pony Club- approved centre was home to an RDA Group for many years before they moved into their own premises.
With the demand high for riding opportunities for disabled riders, the centre was encouraged to gainthe accreditation following a chance meeting between proprietor, Alison Tytheridge, and Accessibility Mark Coordinator, Jo Hayward, at a BEF Every Customer Counts Workshop.
The aim of the scheme is for both RDA Groups and Accessibility Mark centres to work in synergy together to provide the most productive strategy for every rider.
Currently the stables have a number of riders who are autistic or have learning difficulties. The centre offers quiet countryside surroundings which benefits the clients who flourish in the peaceful environment.
Alison said: “We hope our Accessibility Mark sessions can work in support of the local RDA Group, to open up more opportunities for clients to experience the therapeutic benefits of horse riding.
“Having already assisted with RDA group lessons, the staff were familiar with the practice recommended by RDA for things such as side-walking and different mounting techniques but the training day with Accessibility Support Officer (ASO), Sally Hall was a useful refresher course for everyone.
“It is also reassuring to have a point of contact available to offer advice where needed, to ensure clients receive a positive, rewarding experience.”
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by the RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.
For further information contact Pevlings Farm Riding Stables on 01963 370990 or visit www.pevlingsfarm.co.uk
There are currently 47 Accessibility Mark-approved centres across the country.
To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk