Inspiring people in inspired places: A trip to Scorpton RDA centre

053Hello again! I would like to write about the exciting trip I had with the RDA group of the university’s equestrian society last Wednesday, 7 October! We went to Scorpton for an equine therapy session, organized by out equestrian society in partnership with our disabled students’ officer. My first-ever equine therapy session!

The day hadn’t started very well. After many brave attempts to get up from bed (as I had exhausted myself up trying to fix my politics blog the night before) and the realisation that it was raining, I made it to the library and afterwards to our meeting point, outside Portland building. Our companion consisted both of disabled students and volunteers. We waited for a while, meeting and greeting and chatting merrily! Soon Mr. Paul, our driver, was there and we popped into his university minibus. We felt like VIPs, lol! My bag being HUGE, I had to sit at the back, but it was nice.

After a 40-minute trip, we were finally at the equestrian centre, which has two big arenas (one indoors and one outdoors). We were offered cookies, tea and coffee and chatted a lot! And some ladies also posed at my camera, which was sweet! We would be separated in two groups; beginners and advanced.

After the cookies, we put on our stuff and headed to the stables, where we waited to be separated and be shown the horses that we would ride. I was on Babs (from Barbara) who was the first mare I had ever ridden! Cute, but a bit lazy! Anyways, I would ride at the advanced lesson in the indoor arena. The odd of the day was that, I had to use those rubber stirups (please remind me how they called) that are made for the disabled. They looked like massive shoes, each of them having enough space for both my feet!

The lesson was like a normal riding lesson. No balance exercises or anything like that. It was just normal exercises with walking-halting-trotting-cantering. Babsie was not in the mood, really, she would go where she would like, pretend that she could not see the corners, and other tricks! Finally, she familiarised herself with my whip, as she was making life difficult for others too!

The instuctor managed to fix my leaning-forward problem, explaining to me that, if I lean forward, the horse will slow down. The problem is still cantering and I even missed a whole round trying unsuccessfully to get into the canter. I don’t think this had to do with the horse, though. The problem I face is that I still can’t kick the horse while I’m trotting. My heels simply wouldn’t reach the horse’s sides and this made me upset, but the instructor said that all is needed is practice. I hope she’s right!

After the lesson, we helped the staff put away and untack the horses, before we got back to Mr. Paul’s vehicle for Nottingham. What I enjoyed the most, most, most? First, the excitement of my sight-impaired tutee who was cantering like a pro, and, secondly, Mr. Paul’s lovely attitude! Too many smiles for a day!

And now some pics:

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