RDA Summer 2018

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1 X xx The official magazine of Riding for the Disabled Association

Celebrating our National Champions

Horse Welfare

Working With Dementia

Money Matters



Letter from our editor



Riding for the Disabled Association magazine is free to everyone. To subscribe please contact RDA on +44 (0) 1926 492915 or via our website: rda.org.uk/subscribe

Cover photograph: 'Catchlight Photography', www.catchlight-photography.co.uk


was recently selected to be part of the Women’s Sports Leadership Academy, which brings together women from around the world for training and mentoring. Ultimately, the Academy aims to develop leadership skills among coaches and other sports people, creating a confident and thriving community of women at the top end of the sporting world. Having just returned from another inspirational weekend at our National Championships (pages 10-13), it was interesting to see the event from this new viewpoint. So many of the themes we looked at on the

course returned to me in real life, as I watched competitors, coaches and teams of volunteers work together in pursuit of competitive success. One of the most powerful lessons we learned was (using their terminology ) ‘to keep a growth mind set’. This just means looking at every person you work with in terms of their potential – something you see in spades at the Championships. We were also taught the importance of leaving your comfort zone and facing your fears. On our course, this involved a singing competition, but I was reminded of it again at the


Riding for the Disabled Association Incorporating Carriage Driving (RDA) is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities

through the provision of horse riding, carriage driving, showjumping and vaulting. Through a network of 500 volunteer groups throughout

Supporters Reception on the Friday of the Championships, where guests were treated to a talk from Kady Chatman, Coach at Saxon RDA. Throughout her time at RDA, Kady has pushed herself to learn new skills, grow her confidence, develop as a team leader and use all of that to support her group and individual riders to do more. Trying new things and not being afraid to innovate was another key message. In this issue of the Magazine, we visit several groups who are trying something new – and definitely reaping the rewards. Opening their doors to clients with dementia and

the UK, RDA provides opportunities for therapy, achievement and enjoyment, improving health, well-being and self confidence, and benefiting mobility

Alzheimer’s Disease took a leap of faith, but it has proved a positive step for all concerned (pages 18-21). Reading the regional round-up (pages 2633), it is great to see so many groups and regions expanding the activities to participants. RDA is lucky to have inspirational coaches and leaders like Kady and many others, looking for the potential in everyone, finding ways to try new things and bringing their team along with them. I hope you enjoy this issue of RDA Magazine Guest Editor – Fiona Harris, Coaching Manager RDA UK

and co-ordination. RDA is reliant on voluntary help, donations and legacies to deliver its services. Please donate now at rda.org.uk.

RDA is a charity registered in England and Wales (No: 244108) and Scotland (No: SC039473)





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March/April 2018

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05/03/2018 13:40

Contents The official magazine of Riding for the Disabled Association

t: +44 (0) 1926 492915 e: info@rda.org.uk www.rda.org.uk



RDA MAGAZINE IS PUBLISHED BY Matrix Print Consultants Ltd Unit C, Northfield Point, Cunliffe Drive, Kettering, Northamptonshire, NN16 9QJ www.matrixprint.com RDA PRESIDENT Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, Princess Anne EDITOR Ffion Llwyd-Jones e: ffion@rda.org.uk DEPUTY EDITOR Caroline Ward e: cward@rda.org.uk

06 10 15 News Big birthdays, making history - and fun!

RDA Championships What we can do!

Money Matters Planning and engagement

ART DIRECTOR Adriano Cattini e: adriano@matrixprint.com ADVERTISING SALES Catherine Baldock e: cbaldock@rda.org.uk EDITORIAL BOARD Ed Bracher Chief Executive, RDA UK Sam Orde Chairman, RDA UK Sal Atkinson Fundraising Manager, RDA UK Sue Adams-Wheeler Chairman of Coaching Committee, RDA UK Jess Cook National Partnership Advisor, English Federation of Disability Sport While every care is taken in compiling this issue of RDA magazine including manuscripts and photographs submitted, we accept no responsibility for any losses or damage, whatever the cause. All information and prices contained in advertisements are accepted by the publishers in good faith as being correct at the time of going to press. Neither the advertisers nor the publishers accept any responsibility for any variations affecting price variations or availability after the publication has gone to press. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without the permission of the publisher, to whom application must first be made. The views expressed by contributors to RDA magazine are not necessarily those of the RDA, the publisher or its editor. Š2016 The Riding for the Disabled Association. Material for consideration in this section of the magazine should be submitted via email or digital file transfer to the editor. Submissions should be made on the understanding that the Riding for the Disabled Association has the right to use the material in any part of the magazine and any of its other publications, promotions or website, free from any copyright restrictions, or appearance fees other than the issue of artistic and photographic credits where applicable. Please include name of RDA group, photographer, riders and volunteers.

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Lifting the Grey Horses' positive impact

Horse Welfare Beating wormer resistance

RDA around the UK

34 What’s Going On 2018 events calendar

10 rda.org.uk


National News

National News Join the conversation @RDANational:

@rotar ysovr nhbr Eastbour ne Ri

Huge step forward In an exciting partnership, British Dressage (BD) and Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) announce the inaugural RDA Intellectual Disability Dressage Championships. To be held at Solihull Riding Club, West Midlands on 1 September, the championships are an important milestone as they mark the first time riders with an Intellectual Disabilty (ID) have competed with the National Governing Body for dressage in the UK, and possibly the first time for any equine sport under the auspices of the International Equestrian Federation. “This is a huge step forward for riders with an intellectual disability, who have until now had

Learning safety through fun A British Horse Society Affiliated Access group has designed a Bridleway Treasure Hunt board game to promote awareness of the importance of safer riding routes for riders and carriage-drivers. The Snakes & Ladders type game designed by Mid Cotswold Tracks & Trails takes players on a journey of rural bridleways as they cross over bridges, follow signposts and navigate past obstacles to arrive at the end: the Golden Horseshoe. The game is printable at home, is suitable for players

@ B y L u c y J o n e s


of all ages, and pony-loving children will enjoy cutting out and constructing their playing counters. The board game is available for download from The British Horse Society’s website in exchange for a voluntary donation to the BHS’ Paths for Communities fund, which supports local riders and carriage drivers wishing to open new access routes in their area, or improve existing ones that have fallen into disrepair. Download the game from: bhs. org.uk/access-and-bridleways/ treasure-hunt-game

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Poignant memoir: RDA pioneer Stranger in my Heart, by Mary Monro, is a poignant memoir of her father, Lieutenant Colonel John Monro, his capture and escape from the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong and his plan to liberate the PoWs left behind. The book also charts his understanding and support of the very beginnings of RDA. John was

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precious few competitive opportunities,” says RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher. “In launching these Championships, BD is not only helping to drive change within equestrian but also within the broader spectrum of disability sport, where opportunities for ID athletes are still limited. We are delighted to have been able to build on our strong partnership with BD to support this initiative, and wish all participating riders the very best of luck.” Currently, Para dressage within BD covers only riders with a physical disability and this new invitational championship will be the first time ID riders have been welcomed to affiliated dressage. Over 60 statemented

involved in what is now Rea Valley RDA in Shropshire. The forword by RDA President, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, says: “As President of the RDA I am delighted to remember and celebrate Lieutenant Colonel John Monro’s role in the creation of the movement and to thank his daughter Mary for the extraordinary level of research and continued support for RDA.” Twenty per cent of the net proceeds of sales of Stranger in my Heart will go to RDA. Order from https:// unbound.com/books/ stranger-in-my-heart

@ Q u e s t _ R DA

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National News


iding for Disabled,doubled its horses, volunteer numbers and users this year. Proud to have helped.

riders have been invited by BD and the RDA to take part after excelling at the RDA regional qualifiers. There are three test levels and riders will be judged by experienced RDA judges. Interim Para Director for British Dressage Julie Frizzell commented: “This is huge news for dressage and further widens the horizons the joy of horses, riding and competing reaches. Full credit must go to the team at the RDA for helping us bring the Championship to fruition as we couldn’t have done it alone. We share the same values of inclusion and diversity through sport and were determined to provide ID riders with a new aim and pathway to compete. Para dressage continues to go from strength to strength and I hope ID dressage will now find a place in our community so riders can achieve their competition aims and fulfil dreams.”

New faces at National Office RDA has welcomed Alex Walker, Lucy Stokes and Lisa MacDonald to the RDA UK team. Alex is providing operational support to Claire Milican and Lucy joins as Activities Coordinator for Endurance, Showjumping and Vaulting. Lisa, joins the fundraising team to work specifically on grant fundraising. She will mainly be working from home in Glasgow. Contact Lucy at lstokes@ rda.org.uk, Alex at awalker@rda.org.uk and Lisa at lmacdonald@ rda.org.uk. @ B B C O n e

t o d ay.


HETI Congress strikes a balance This year’s HETI Congress (Horses in Education and Therapy International) was hosted by Festina Lente, Horse Sport Ireland and the Equine Facilitated Education and Therapy Association (Ireland) and was based around the theme of ‘striking a balance’. In a packed programme of workshops, forums, keynote speeches, talks and presentations, delegates from around the world came together to share knowledge, research, insight and experience on a wide range of topics. RDA was well represented throughout the five-day event: Chief Executive Ed Bracher delivered a keynote speech, Volunteer

Development Manager Matt Cobble gave a presentation about supporting volunteers, Lead Accessibility Support Officer Lizzie Hill introduced delegates to the Accessibility Mark accreditation, and Coach and Chartered Physiotherapist Lynne Munro spoke about the benefits of teamwork through equestrian vaulting. In support of her work for RDA and other groups internationally, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal was Patron of this year’s Congress. For more information about HETI: visit hetifederation.org.

Fifty AM Centres

confidence of those centres we work with. “We have also been delighted by the response from local RDA groups, who have been able to work in partnership with AM centres to reduce waiting lists or offer extended opportunities to their own riders.” For more information about Accessibility Mark email am@rda.org.uk

Fifty riding centres around the UK have been awarded the Accessibility Mark. The scheme, which launched in 2014 in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation, works with commercial riding centres to encourage more disabled people to participate in riding. 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 it can offer continuous support to the centre to ensure a first-class experience that benefits riders. “This feels like a really significant milestone,” says Lead Accessibility Support Officer, Lizzie Hill. “When we launched the project four years ago we knew there were centres who felt they needed more support but we couldn’t predict how popular it would become. The centres we work with are really trying to open their doors to more disabled clients and we are definitely seeing a difference in numbers of people taking up the sport, and also the growth in

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Safeguarding and Communications Beth Randles, who many will know through her work on the RDA Handbook and processing DBS forms, has stepped into a new role helping to coordinate and support RDA’s internal communications. Beth, who joined RDA to cover Laura Cartwright’s maternity leave, will help improve how RDA communicates with its groups, as well as working on specific

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projects such as the 50th anniversary. Laura Cartwright has returned from maternity leave and is currently supporting groups in the transition of DBS to three-yearly renewals. From October, she will be providing dedicated safeguarding support to groups. Contact Beth at brandles@rda. org.uk or Laura at lcartwright@rda. org.uk

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National News

National News

Social media news feed:

Big birthdays

With RDA celebrating its 50th anniversary next year, several RDA groups

are ahead of the game, celebrating big birthdays in 2018. Among the 50ths are Rossway, Pembrokeshire, Border group, Stratford upon Avon, Norwich & District, Leeds Area and York & District. And the birthdays get even bigger, with The Drum celebrating its 60th.

Endurance Week

@RDApegasus Fantastic #RDA Holiday we

Celebrations include gala balls, musical rides, black tie dinners, royal visits, fun days, quizzes, and picnics. At Rossway, more than 100 guests were treated to a riding demonstration, a short history of the group, a chance to meet the horses and chat over tea and cake. Jennie Shaw, Rossway committee member said: “We estimate that over our 50 years we have given 6,800 group riding lessons. With

Valuable technical support at Championships As RDA events and activities grow, partnerships with corporate supporters have become even more valuable. No more so than at the National Championships, where this year we had the generous support of SOS Group, which supplied all our photocopiers, desktop printers, stationery supplies and technical

Now in its second year, RDA Endurance Week once again encouraged new participants into the sport, and RDA groups to take up the challenge of adding it to their activities. Held this year in mid-May, many groups took advantage of the beautiful Spring weather to organise their one or two km rides.

@ S a m O r d e _ r d a


Rachel Vaughan-Johns, Wiltshire County Chair said: “In addition to the rides held at groups, we organised an Endurance day at Urchinwood Manor for the region. We had a fair few groups participating and I highly recommend it. I hope other regions take up the challenge soon.”

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typically two supporters for each rider, that means over 54,000 volunteer sessions. That’s a lot of riding and helping! Now settled into our new home at Shardeloes Farm, we look forward to many more years of fun and service.” Congratulations to all groups celebrating major milestones this year. Please share your pictures and events with us on Twitter @RDAnational.

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backup for the competition. “To have SOS at the Championships and not have to worry about our printing and copying equipment was a real bonus,” says Sarah Hadley, Championships Secretary. “The technical support provided was fantastic and especially appreciated during the busy times of printing score results, which took the pressure off our volunteers and staff. It’s great to have the support of SOS.” SOS can offer charity rates to RDA Groups for new or used equipment, contact Andrew Skelton at RDA@sosgroup-ltd. co.uk or call 0345 230 8080.

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e e k e n d ! We h a d a b l a s t , l e a r n t l o t s a n d m a d e g r e a t f r i e n d s @ R DA _ N W @ R DA n a t i o n a l @ C l w y d S R C

Max makes mountain history

“With snowflakes in our eyes, a world first has been achieved, and I am now the first person with Cerebral Palsy to trek to Everest base camp on horseback.” So wrote RDA rider and adventurer Max Stainton, of Hyde Park RDA, on completing his gruelling fundraiser. Max and his team prepared for two years to ensure they were physically and mentally prepared for what lay ahead. Nepalese pony Rocky also went through a thorough training programme to ready him for the journey. Rocky was accompanied throughout the trek by vet Lily Witchell from Walnut Hill Equine Veterinary Clinic. Also on the team were supporters from Max’s current RDA group in London, and Stratford RDA, where Max’s riding journey

began when he was just five years old. Fundraising continued during and after his ascent, and the project has raised over £56,000 for RDA’s National Training Centre. Following Max’s safe return to the UK, he embarked on the next part of the challenge – a day’s media whirlwind being interviewed for broadcasters all over the UK including Sky News, BBC News and Channel 5. “Thanks so much to Max and the whole team for everything they have done – not just in raising such a huge amount of money but in raising awareness of RDA,” said RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher. “Max is a great ambassador for everything that RDA stands for and we are so proud of what he has achieved.”

National Training Centre Update We are delighted to announce the appointment of Greswolde Construction as the main contractor for the work on The National Training Centre. Work has started, and is expected to take about a year. Here’s a reminder of what will happen at The Centre when it opens its doors next Spring.


he National Training Centre will be a training venue for RDA UK volunteers and coaches (i.e. those with a National, Regional or County role), and training for other RDA audiences, especially those we want to inspire to either support RDA or to get involved in what we do. The Centre will enable us to train those volunteers in a purpose-built environment for both practical and classroombased learning. The training and events will be an opportunity to learn, share knowledge and be inspired by others.

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TYPE OF TRAINING/ EVENTS • National Coaching Conference • National Equine Conference • New Group Training • National Carriage Driving Conference • Volunteer workshops • RDASC Training and Exam • RDAC Training and Exam • Training Advisor CPD Days

@ R D A n a t i o n a l

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• Education Mentors • Dressage Conference • Regional Officers Induction • Regional/County Coach Induction • Carriage Driving Induction • Regional Coaches Day • Classifiers CPD Day • Dressage Judges CPD Day • Regional Qualifiers Organisers Day


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Tears and laughter, rosettes and trophies


RDA Championships


The RDA National Championships is a special weekend full of enthusiasm, competition, achievements, and fun.


ive hundred competitors and their support teams from over 100 RDA groups descended on Hartpury College, Gloucestershire, for the RDA National Championships. Once again, this wholly uplifting event shone a light on the extraordinary achievements of RDA’s participants, coaches, volunteers and horses at groups all over the UK. Showjumping and Carriage Driving kicked off the competition in great style, with a packed Friday programme that also included Countryside Challenge (continued throughout the weekend) and SEIB Search for a Star Showing. New this year was the Dressage Pairs competition, a fabulous display of skill, teamwork and communication. Saturday brought a full day of dressage, plus the ever-popular vaulting competition. The invitational Endurance ride was a huge success and is set to become a firm fixture. The Costume Dressage Freestyle to Music rounded off the day beautifully, as RDA welcomed its first entry from an Elephant! Sunday featured a day of dressage and Countryside Challenge, bringing another fantastic event to a close with a familiar emotional mix of tears and laughter, rosettes and trophies. Championships Chair, Anne Coney said: “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who pulls together to make this event such a success. The skill of competitors and the turnout of the horses improves year on year – and that is testimony to the coaches and support teams who give their time to this very special weekend.”


p Jessica Booth and Spell had just completed a clear showjumping round at this year’s Championships - the first for them both. Explaining the team’s colourful appearance, Tracy Lopez Moreno says: “We all have flowers in our hair, and Jessica chose the colour this year, and her favourite colour is red. The team is from Riverside group, Bingley, North Yorkshire. “We’re known for our sparkle!” Tracey adds.

t For Sue Veale and Marissa Bretherton-Mackay, the Arts&Crafts section offers an opportunity for everyone to enter the National Championships and get public acknowledgment for their skills. “There’s just so many different ways to take part,” says Sue. “From painting and drawing, to sculptures and making models.” Marissa adds that it’s designed to be open to everyone in RDA, regardless of whether or not they can attend the Championships in person.

RDA Championships


p Erica Brown, rider and Coach at Lowlands RDA said of her experience: “It demonstrates to me that on a personal level I’m making a comeback, it’s showing everyone who ever told me I couldn’t achieve post accident that they’re wrong. I’m proving myself wrong as I find myself doubting my ability. I know that my horse Bob will look after me, will keep me safe and will give me all the courage I need to get on him and to get out there and have some fun.”

p “It was Flynn who got me back into riding again,” comments Lesley Sayers. She strokes Flynn’s soft black ears, and the two-year-old Labrador guide dog gently wags his long tail. It’s a busy RDA National Championship for Lesley as she’s competing in several events, including Search for a Star, encouraged by Flynn’s canine support at every step along the way.

p It was Ellie Thornton’s first visit to the RDA Championships, which she celebrated by making bracelets for all the team (The Royal We) from Wakefield RDA group, including her mum, Sarah Thornton, and Milly Mirzabegi. The bracelets took Ellie about an hour to make, and spell out ‘RDA National Championships’.



RDA Championships

p “Endurance is a great activity, and really promotes horse care,” explains Natalie, RDA vet. Together with Sally Hall, Endurance Committee Chairman, she invited audience members to listen to the horse’s heart. Endurance piloted at the RDA Championships and leads to greater knowledge of horsemanship, especially fitness heart rates, metabolic rates and dehydration.

p Bill’s contented face tells the story - this washing business is really cool on a hot afternoon at the RDA Championships! The ten-year old is with the Bradbourne group, based in Sevenoaks, Kent, and was taking part in dressage competitions, with two Grade 1 riders.

p ‘Have a go’ extolled the RDA’s ‘horse’, and that was enough to get Careth de Gruyther giving it her best shot on the vaulting barrel at the National Championships. “I’ve never had a go at vaulting, although I will now,” said Carys, the County Coach (Driving and Riding) for Cumbria, based at RDA Keswick.

p “Our stuffed animals are renowned, we’re famous for our cakes – and now we have the plants,” says Lynda Page, as she arranges the colourful displays outside the Hartpury Women’s Institute tent at the RDA Championships. “We also have a separate Actvity Tent this year, so it’s all very busy. It’s just gets bigger and better each year!” she adds.


RDA Championships

p RDA UK Chairman Sam Orde is one of the most familiar and popular faces at the event, particularly at prize giving! This year over 1600 rosettes were presented over three days. Thank you Sam for helping to make these lasting memories for so many competitors.


We’ve shown a crosssection of Senior and Open winners: the complete results are on the RDA website: www.rda.org.uk


Grade I Seniors: Tegan Vincent-Cooke (Hilda), Avon Centre Grade 1 Open: Sophie Lingfield (Trust April), Chigwell Riding Trust Grade 2 Seniors: Amy Willmott (Alfie), Diamond Centre Grade 3: Eleanor Currington (Drunkeen Boy), Cambs College Grade 3 Open: Victoria Smith (Louis VII), Cotswold Grade 1-6 (walk): Claire Chamberlain (Dream A Dream), Wellington & Dummer Grade l/D (walk): Felicity Julian (Mini Milton), Epsom Grade l/D (walk/trot): Ellia

p For the Spurlings, the RDA Championships is definitely a family affair. Cheering on Hattie Spurling and Harvey are her parents Tessa and Marc, and fourfooted family members Tiggy the border terrier, Herbie the pointer, and Barney the spaniel. Hattie and Harvey won Level 3 Showjumping (Junior).

Holdaway (Charlie), Wenlo Freestyle Grade 1: Claire Tregaskis (Stephania) North Cornwall Freestyle Grade 2: Amy Willmott (Alfie) Diamond Centre Freestyle Grade 3 Open: Victoria Smith (Louis VII), Cotswold Freestyle Grade 3 Senior: Clive Collier (Romantic), Diamond Centre Freestyle (walk): Georgina Fowler (Merlin), Ride2Achieve Freestyle Grade l/D(walk/ trot): Ellis Holdaway (Charlie), Wenlo


Novice: Carl Ward (Badger), Carmarthen Carriage Driving Intermediate: Linda Farquhar (Ozzy), Forth Driving Open: Jane O’Neill (Sweet Pea), Red Rose Carriage Driving

p Still smiling at the end of a long day, and with tack still to clean, Lesley Morrill of Hope in the Valley group, SouthEast region, says it’s all so worthwhile: “It’s great for the kids to experience all the buzz and enthusiasm of the Championships, and the parents get a huge amount from just seeing their children be successful here.”


Level 2: Cheryl Clark (Lily Delight), Unicorn Centre Level 3: Sarah Hannaford (Izzy’s Star), Saxon Level 4: Carrie Hermitage (Willow), United Counties Graded Showjumping Grade 2 Matthew Dalley (Wimbledon II), Scropton Grade 3: Evie Toombes (High Offley Business Centre), Lincolnshire Wolds



Led with 1 side walker: Martin Stewart (Billy), Erme Valley Led or 1 side walker: Nia Rundle (Charlie 24), Erme Valley Independent: Aynsley Calvert (Ruby), West Norfolk Visually Impaired: Alasdair Kennedy (Caellyn Haf), Saxon


Team: Clwyd Special Riding Centre (The Bear) Individual: Elizabeth Bennett (Great Bear from Perry RDA), Cambs College


Paint Me A Picture: Israel Gbasai, Charlton Park Paintings & Drawings: Peter Olby, Otley & District Collages: Emily Clarke, North Staffs Sculpture: Monique Lock, Arrow

MUSICAL DRILL RIDE Led: Barrow Farm (Strictly Come Riding) Unled: Cambs College (Trooping the Colour)


Tracy Steel (Johan’s Debut)




Changing Disability Through Innovation


n April 2018, over 15,000 people attended a groundbreaking show now known as the disability and living event. The 44th edition of Naidex returned to its former glory and once again became the epicentre of the disability world. And this is how it happened... News of Naidex caught the attention of the entire disability sector, and across both days, paralympians, figures of influence, celebrities and household names; including the one and only


Warwick Davis walked through the doors of London’s ExCeL to see what the show had in store! They were certainly not disappointed with what they found, as visitors were greeted with over 300 suppliers, all of which were exhibiting some of the finest futuristic technologies, mobility solutions and daily living essentials that are transforming lives around the world. Invaluable information, inspiration and guidance was found in all corners of the show, through the impressive lineup of 200 world-class speakers. This year’s speakers were easily recognisable as some of the industry’s most influential figures, resulting in theatres that were bursting at the seams for the duration of their presentations. Naidex also decided to up their game by introducing some exciting new features that turned out to be incredibly popular. The Moving & Handling Lab was held for the very first time, and those who attended will know there was never a moment where the Lab wasn’t overflowing with visitors. The healthcare professionals and carers who secured themselves a desired audience spot in the Lab had the chance to see state-of-the-art products in action, and were even invited to try out the products and techniques for themselves. The launch of the Home, Design & Build Summit was a resounding success. The Summit soon became the meeting

point for thousands of individuals all of whom wanted to catch a glimpse of the industry-changing adaptations, developments and strategies set to revolutionise independent living. A feature that got people talking (literally) were the panel debates. Each session ran overtime as questions and conversations based on employability, the future of care and injury compensation flowed between the crowd and panelists which included the likes of Martyn Sibley (Disability Horizons), Kamran Mallick (Disability Rights UK) and Diane Lightfoot (Business Disability Forum). Both panelists and attendees left the discussions with their minds opened to new possibilities available within the disability world. All these elements made an everlasting impression on the disability sector. 2018’s instalment reinstated trust in the hearts of all those who attended and showed everyone that Naidex is Europe’s go-to platform enabling healthcare professionals, trade professionals and members of the public to come together and discover just how bright the future looks for the disability sector. And next year’s exhibition promises to be even better. The team behind this event are working hard to ensure Naidex 45 is an even bigger success story, by inspiring, educating and motivating more people to work towards creating an inclusive future. Make sure you mark off the 26th & 27th March 2019, and see what Naidex has to offer.

Money Matters


Money Matters RDA UK Finance Manager, Peter Dean, is a man on a mission. When he’s not supporting his beloved Liverpool FC, his goal is to get RDA Groups excited about financial management. An uphill struggle worthy of any World Cup Final match, you might think. We spoke to the man himself to find out more. all RDA activities can and should develop – and should be the starting point of any financial planning. Each group has a board of trustees, who are responsible for carrying out their charitable aims. These trustees make a range of decisions about how the group will run, including how to manage its funds. “All groups have a treasurer, but it isn’t their responsibility alone to look after the finances,” says Peter. “All the trustees should take an active interest – and even the group’s other members too.”


inance should be about making things happen,” says Peter. “It’s not just about recording numbers, it should be enabling. It should help groups to make better decisions, to carry out their good ideas and help participants reach their goals.” ‘Action’ is not the first thing that springs to mind when thinking about finance, but for Peter there has to be a clear link between a group’s financial health and the activities delivered to participants. “It’s part of being a good charity that groups must use their assets to deliver their charitable aims,” he explains. “That means actively planning how funds are going to be used.” ON BOARD All RDA’s 487 group around the UK are individual charities. Within their constitution (or Mem and Arts), they have an agreed objective to ‘provide disabled people with the opportunity to ride and/or carriage drive to benefit their health and wellbeing’. This constitution is the foundation on which

LOOKING AHEAD So where should they start? “With the basics,” says Peter. In this case, a healthy annual cycle of planning and budgeting, monitoring and reviewing. “Planning may be something that happens as a natural part of each trustees meeting, but it helps to set a conscious date ahead of the new financial year for everyone to get together to discuss the group’s plans, what they want to achieve and how they might afford it.” There is no set rule about how far in advance to begin planning. RDA UK starts four months before the new financial year, with budgets being drawn up in the last two. “The sophistication of this part of the cycle depends on the size and complexity of the group,” explains Peter. “But even small groups, or those with very straightforward budgets, should take a bit of time to plan ahead. It’s when good ideas can be aired, discussed and budgeted for – making them much more likely to come to fruition.” After the plan has been discussed, the treasurer can draw up the budget

for the other trustees to agree or suggest changes. In Peter’s experience, this is a great time for trustees to lean in and get familiar with the numbers on the page and how they connect with what the group will actually achieve over the coming months. “The budget is where you can really see the difference you plan to make,” says Peter. “It’s a document you will return to throughout the year as you monitor progress, so understanding how it looks from the outset will give you a head start.” IN THE BALANCE One of the ‘hot topics’ in charity finance is ‘reserves’ – the money a charity holds for a rainy day. While it’s bad form to stockpile money that doesn’t get used to carry out the group’s objectives, it’s also sensible to have something put aside for unforeseen circumstances. “How much a group might need in reserves will depend on several things,” explains Peter. “The key thing – and it’s a Charity Commission requirement – is to have a policy which sets out how much the group plans to set aside and why.” As a rule of thumb, RDA UK advises that its groups should only really have up to two years’ running costs in reserve. For example, RDA UK’s reserves policy says it aims to hold between six and twelve months’ running costs; at year-end in March, it held ten months in reserve. Peter acknowledges it’s a balancing act between spending money to support participants now, and ensuring the



Money Matters

group is still around to welcome participants for years to come: “But I would say that in most cases that balance ought to swing in favour of supporting current participants. After all, when people donate money they need to feel confident that it is going towards the group’s activities – not boosting its bank balance.” ACTIVE INTEREST As the year progresses, returning to the budget at each trustee meeting should help everyone keep track. Monitoring the actual flow of funds in and out, and comparing this with what was planned and budgeted, provides a basic financial ‘health check’ that will give everyone confidence. Since everything on the budget links to an actual activity, regular monitoring is a chance to recognise the positive things the group has achieved, whether that’s a successful fundraiser or the purchase of some new equipment. It should offer a sense of progress, as the planning carried out at the beginning of


the financial year begins to be realised in tangible benefits for participants. Keeping an eye on reserves will give the group a head start on whether to raise more money or increase spending. “It should be a healthy discussion that everyone feels part of, not just a report from the treasurer,” says Peter. “The interesting part of being a trustee is hearing about the operational side of the charity – and how that links to the finances. Remember, your treasurer may also be trying to flag up a potential concern, so take an active interest and work together to take action.” SHOW AND TELL Being able to demonstrate the financial health of your group is one of the major benefits of good financial management. A basic set of accounts should be updated throughout the year, showing income, expenditure and how much money the charity has overall. This is useful for the trustees, but also forms part of the reporting process to the Charity Commission. Increasingly,

potential funders will want this information too. “Understandably, if your group has applied for a grant or to a trust fund, they will want to know the current state of your finances: how much money you have, whether you have reserves and how the money you are asking for fits into your other plans,” says Peter. “Keeping a simple spreadsheet updated in this way will mean you always have this information at your fingertips. It will give funders confidence – and the group too.” BASIC ADVICE Peter is realistic in knowing that numbers aren’t for everyone, but he remains resolute that money isn’t just the treasurer’s domain, and urges everyone to take an interest in the financial management of their RDA group. “You can’t separate the things your charity does from the money it has. Trustees should take the opportunity to listen to, and participate in, their regular financial health-check. “Ask questions: make sure you can understand what is written in the accounts and how it relates to other areas such as training, coaching, education, participant numbers, new activities, competitions, horse welfare. These are all things that groups want to see happening and they only happen if the funds are there and the plans are in place to spend the money.” With the World Cup behind him, Peter is redoubling his efforts to bring the basics of financial management to those that need it. Alongside the existing support of Regional Treasurers, there is plenty of help and advice available to groups. Plans are in place for an e-learning course and workshop, and organisations like the Charity Commission already provide a wealth of straightforward advice (www.gov. uk/government/organisations/charitycommission). “You need to get the basics right, and that’s what we’re going to help you do,” concludes Peter. “Plan and budget, monitor and review; take an active interest and use your money to make a difference.”

Money Matters


FINANCE AND FUTURE SUCCESS Everyone knows that the path to success has to be planned and looking at your finance and reserves is a great starting point for this process, says RDA Chief Executive Ed Bracher. “Any planning should start by considering what you want to achieve, but you should quickly combine this with your financial position – and aspirations. Many RDA Groups have built large indoor schools, for example. Most did not have the money when they started, but by careful planning – both operationally and financially – they achieved their goal. Combining operation and financial planning is the best way to try and make sure your goals are realistic and that you know what you need to achieve

them. Similarly, looking at your reserves and considering if some of them could be used to help achieve your dream is an important process – remember that people don’t give us money for it to sit dormant, you should be trying to use it to move your group forward. This should help make financial planning more exciting and aspirational: What do you want? What have you got? What do you need to do to bridge the gap? Questions that should engage everyone at your group."

MCE RDA Half Page 1 v2 PRINT.pdf 1 13/06/2018 14:47:29

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Lifting the Grey: How Horses Help Animal therapy is recognised as beneficial for people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). More recently, studies and word-of-mouth reports indicate that non-riding time with horses also eases symptoms of dementia. We talk with riding centres, carers and family members, and AD professionals to learn more about how these wonderful equine/human interactions make such a positive difference to all participants. And how it can also raise much-needed funds for RDA groups.


y wife Jane woke up crying, and it’s distressing for both of us, and if I get upset in front of her it agitates her. So I said: “It’s Monday (because she never knows what day it is), and we’re going to see Bertie in a minute.” “Really?!” she says. An immediate, positive mood change.” That’s David talking about his wife Jane’s experiences with unmounted sensory sessions; Jane has early- or young-onset Alzheimer’s disease. He adds: “You can understand when your brain is dying and you can think but not think properly. It’s so complex, but you realise you’ve got it. And it can’t be treated, so it’s all about wellbeing, that’s the treatment. So she needs to feel good, and what makes her feel good? Interaction with the horses is a major factor of what makes her feel good.” UNMOUNTED SENSORY SESSION It all started when, sometime after his wife’s diagnosis, David was at a Memory café near his home “just so I could talk to people. And a girl there suggested taking Jane to the Avon riding centre.” That was when Kim Langbridge, RDA Coordinator at Avon RDA came into the picture. She explains that a school group’s break left a vacant 45-minute session in the day, which she decided to devote to an unmounted sensory programme. “We started with participants who couldn’t ride,” explains Kim. “Together with a volunteer (not a coach), with an understanding of horses and who responds with empathy to what the client wants to do.” That first group included people in wheelchairs, and two women with dementia. One participant (EB) was from a local care home, accompanied by Allison Johnston, a Dementia




Credit: Danielle Longotano Rain Photography


Navigator with the Dementia Wellbeing Service - North. She explains: “Previously, I had contacted Kim to see if these visits would be the sort of thing to suit service users, and the minute I spoke to them there was this incredible positivity. And she said it was exactly what they wanted to do, and we set it up.” Allison picked up EB from the care home and they went to the centre. “EB’s worked with horses all her life, but within one year she’d been moved from her flat to shared accommodation and then very quickly into a nursing home, which was very disorienting. She was interested in visiting the horses,” says Allison. “When we got there, she just immediately connected with the horses, she knows horses so well, and the staff connected with her. She shared stories of working with horses and what she knew about them. And the horses also seemed to really connect with her.” Because EB doesn’t have any friends or family member for support, Allison spoke with ‘Active Together’ (run by Age UK and supported by Bristol City Council) that matches volunteers to

people with dementia. “So now she has a volunteer to take her to maintain this relationship,” adds Allison. “We also made a little book of photos of her with the horses, which she can share with people at the care home, so people looking after her can get a good picture of what she’s like – it gives her a chance to be an expert. She doesn’t really have a memory of being there, but each week she goes, there’s a familiarity, because the centre makes sure she sees the same horse, and the same people supporting. It’s something we hope to do more.” Kim added: “EB’s advocate noted ‘these sensory sessions appear quite integral to her wellbeing. It is acknowledged that the activity offers a link to her past passion and profession, thereby upholding continuity and individuality in her life. It is promoting her skills and abilities as she reconnects with so many familiar tasks. The sessions also act as an opportunity to leave the nursing home, go out into the community and meet new people, thereby supporting her community presence and building relationships with the riding centre staff and horses.

The decision maker might wish to consider all avenues to ensure the sensory sessions can be facilitated, including using volunteers or accessing grants.’ “ And what about Jane’s experience? Kim says: “They come every two weeks, and meet Bertie. She lights up when she comes in, and is absolutely absorbed. Her husband says it gives meaning to the day’s timetable.” David adds: “If you ask Jane about the highlight of her week, it’s going to see Bertie. We have four daughters, and a loving family. And the eldest of the twins had a baby four months ago and they came to watch Jane, and there’s a peripheral effect, because if mum is happy and they can see that, it lifts the greyness off their lives, too. So it’s not just limited to me and Jane, the ripple effect is affecting the family positively. I wouldn’t say it would work with everyone, but it certainly works with our family.” SHARING, TOGETHER A similar story is developing at Cotswolds RDA, where Claire Jenkins,




The Silver Hour

General Manager, is also seeing the positive effect of unmounted sensory sessions: “What a difference it made, and not just for the participants. One family member reduced me to tears as she told me this was the first day out she had had since her husband went into the home. And that she felt safe and they could enjoy doing something together.” Claire explains the sessions came about all because of Mister Dibbles. “We were given a pony called Mister Dibbles, and he’s 20 and couldn’t do a full schedule of riding,” says Claire “Now, I’m a big believer in spreadsheets and I was thinking well, if he can’t cover his costs, then we’re not having him. They’re not pets! As well as a charity we are also a business. Then I

met him, and he was just so friendly and then we got to thinking how we could do something for people with dementia. And 'Afternoon Tea with Mister Dibbles' just sounded perfect.” Claire adds that Mister Dibbles developed Cushing’s Disease and went back to his owners, so now it’s ‘Afternoon tea with Mister B,’ another adorable pony. Jerry Porter, Vice Chairman at Cotswolds picks up the tale: “We were looking for people to trial the Afternoon Tea concept, and as I’m in contact with a local care home that has an entire floor dedicated to people with dementia, we asked if they wanted to do the pilot – and they were delighted. And we then had a request from another care home. So we’ve had two similar but somewhat different experiences. It certainly seems to be something there’s a great enthusiasm and demand for.” Claire says: “There was this woman, she’d just turned 100 years old and was with her daughter. And she said it was one of the most lucid moments she’s seen her mother have in several years. We gave her the saddle, and she remembered the tack room, and then she went back to a memory where her mother had one of the first Hoovers, and coming home to find her brothers vacuuming the ponies. What made that even more special was the shared experience and memories with a family member. It’s fantastic, and it does go up a level with the family members. Claire adds that the first one was done as a trial: “so we only charged £5.” Jerry comments: “It’s blown us away. We’re not unused to the emotion, but this is intense somehow. You see the

curtain pulled aside for a second or two when these memories are triggered. The smell of horses, and the leather tack, the evocative smell of hay. Smells seem to short-circuit memory in a way that sight and sound doesn’t do as quickly. And the opportunity to join in, even just to push the wheel chair while the person is leading the horse, so they’re really participating together in the experience.” He mentions another participant whose father and grandfather had both ridden as jockeys at Cheltenham: “And that’s where we’re based, so Annie was literally on the ground where they were, and that was special. She used to be a superb botanical artist with exhibitions in London. She still paints although she no longer has the same motor skills, and she went back to the home and painted a picture of Bobby, the pony. That she wanted to do that and give it to us was really special.” THE SILVER HOUR Over at Kesteven Rideability, Lincolnshire, Karen Thompson has launched a Thursday afternoon equine therapy for adults programme, The Silver Hour, to run through the summer months. “Our group is to capacity at riding, so we were looking to get new people involved in the group, more footfall without increasing the workload on the horses,” she says. The programme was designed as an opportunity for seniors to rekindle their love of equines or experience a connection with a horse for the first time, in a safe and supported environment. Activities include

HOW CAN WE DO IT? Jerry Porter comments: “It’s not that difficult in terms of resources.” He adds: “Ideally for year round you’d have an indoor school, but could do it without. The activity can be done in parallel with normal lessons in the indoor school, and participants can have tea in the gallery


and watch the lesson going on, so it doesn’t get in the way of the lesson at all. And they’re usually there before the lesson starts and we bring one or two of the ponies to the rail so they can meet them while they’re having their tea. And then we just need one pony and helper who are not needed

in the lessons to walk in the sensory gardens, and that’s about it really.” As Claire comments: “It’s the head/heart thing constantly with RDA. We have annual running costs of more than £200,000 and only invoice £70,000, so how can we make a difference and also generate a new

revenue stream without taxing our resources? So, the ‘head’ thinking was: actually, we could do this straighforwardly, tea and cakes, which is something RDA does very well, watching a lesson would be good stimulation, and there’s no extra resources. And then we could bolt-

Credit: Danielle Longotano Rain Photography


learning about equine behaviour, meeting, grooming and leading the horses, and a chance to sit on the horse simulator to learn the basics of riding in a safe environment. The first session involved four residents and their carers from Newton House, a local care home in Grantham. Karen admits it’s still early days for the group: “We started with care homes, to get it going quickly. I’m hoping we can build up a small group that aren’t yet in care homes, but are in various support groups. It’s been a difficult winter with hard weather so we’re just beginning to get momentum.” Newton House Activities Co-ordinator Sara Goslin comments: “We emailed Karen because we knew she did disability riding and found out about the new group. So, we mentioned it to few residents and were overwhelmed by the positive response.” She noted one resident in particular, who “hadn’t wanted to do any activities and even getting her to leave her room was a challenge, and yet when horses were mentioned she responded. Even on the day we weren’t sure if she would go, but she got here and her face just lit up when she saw the horses. It was a very emotional day.” Kesteven ponies Fudge, Sox and Rio were introduced to the group, to be fussed and stroked. Karen adds: “It was magical watching the reactions, as faces lit up and voices became more animated. Rio loved his mane being combed and Fudge dozed happily as he was brushed. Then it was home-made cakes and tea. There were happy tears as one woman reconnected her love of horses, and a man regaled us with

on from there… we have a sensory walk, which isn’t used enough, so that would be a fantastic way to use the water splash, the beach area to promote conversation, the tactile and fragrance plants.” She adds that for the longer term, she’s devising a possible pricing structure: “So £5 for tea and cakes for everybody, including the family members. One care


Jane with Bertie

stories of the real War Horses of WW1.” Karen got funding to run a pilot scheme of 10 sessions. “Irrespective of age or infirmity, I believe that everyone can benefit from this kind of experience. The sessions are tailored to individual requirements, with the help of coaches and volunteers to ensure a safe, productive experience. We’re still in semilaunch, so we’re delighted that Newton House has booked four more sessions because they see the value in it.” SIMPLE THINGS It does seem to be about the simple things. As Jerry comments: “We’ve been agonising how to pitch the offering, what package etc. and then one of the carers said: “There’s no need to

home commented that just coming to watch the lesson was enough, so that could be an easy way to generate income. The ponies are brought up at the end of the lesson, just to say hello. Then another £5 to walk and lead the pony, groom the pony. Then, subject to risk assessment, weight etc., they could sit on a pony – just a couple of minutes as you wouldn’t want the 100

overachieve: just coming out and have a cup of tea and a piece of cake, and sitting and watching the lesson is a terrific outing for most of them because they don’t get a lot of that sort of thing. And when you add in the sensory walk and the dogs it becomes really quite special.” Sara adds that she can see the benefits: “Animal interaction plays such a big part, whether or not people have dementia. Certain residents will see long-term benefits, especially if you have photographs and they can talk about it, and sometimes they’re calmed by it. Perhaps because it’s a different, a happy memory that takes them away from whatever has made them upset. That’s what it’s all about really.”

year old trotting, would you? Just a little walk round. And we do have a mechanical horse, although we don’t have the hoist, so there are some challenges there. There could be Bronze, Silver and Gold packages, and we could deliver it, with a target for about twice a week with about four people. Add that up over time, and it generates a decent revenue and makes a

phenomenal difference. “ Kim concludes: “We’re really pleased with the way it’s developed, and I think every RDA could do an unmounted sensory session as it’s a low resource in terms of horse use, and there’s no stress on them, either intellectual or physical.



Horse Welfare



Internal parasites (worms) and horses can be a disastrous combination, resulting in poor body condition, serious damage to internal organs, and even colic. As worms show increasing resistance to medication, equine vet Nathalie Cole suggests a practical approach to combat wormer resistance and keep our horses healthy and happy.


he development of modern anthelmintic (worming) medications was a huge step forward in keeping our horses healthy, and the routine use of wormers resulted in a decline in parasitic disease. Unfortunately, parasites are becoming increasingly resistant to medications, with some worms showing resistance to multiple drugs. No new anthelmintic drugs are currently in development for horses, so it important for vets and horse owners to work together and use evidence-based protocols to preserve the usefulness of current medications for as long as possible. WHICH WORMS When formulating a worming programme for adult horses the two most important groups of parasites to consider are roundworms and tapeworms. Round worms, or strongyles can


be divided in to two groups: large strongyles and small strongyles. Large strongyles are red-coloured worms that can grow up to 5cm in length, and can cause damage to the horse’s gut, liver and other tissues as they migrate around the body during their life cycle. One species, Strongylus vulgaris, also migrates into the blood vessels supplying the horse’s intestines causing clots and obstructions that starve the gut of oxygenated blood. This can cause severe damage or even the death of the bowel. Due to the development of modern anthelmintics in the 1960s, and the practice of routine worming that has been commonly used since, disease caused by large strongyle worms is now relatively rare in the UK. However, also due to this routine use, resistant worms have evolved, meaning drugs may now not always be effective against these parasites. An additional consequence of

Credit: Andy Durham/ The Liphook Equine Hospital

Horse Welfare

using anthelmintic drugs routinely is that resistance has developed among the small strongyles, also known as cyathostomes. These worms have become an increasingly common cause of disease in horses over the past few years. These are smaller, pale to red-coloured worms that are less than 2.5cm in length. A large proportion of their development takes place within the wall of the horse’s intestine, leading to inflammation causing signs such as poor performance, weight loss and colic. In addition to being resistant to most wormers, these worms can become encysted (hidden and dormant) within the gut wall for a portion of their life cycle, making them incredibly difficult to target. When these encysted worms emerge, usually in large numbers in the spring, they can cause widespread intestinal damage leaving to severe gut inflammation and diarrhoea. This disease (larval cyathostominosis) may require intensive hospital treatment, and can be fatal. As a result of these dangerous, highly resistant worms becoming more common it is more important than ever to use anthelmintic drugs carefully to ensure they continue to be effective. For example, in many cases cyathostomes can only be treated with one remaining drug, Moxidectin. For this reason it is vital that this product is only used at the correct time of the year as part of a targeted protocol, and never for routine worming unless on the advice of your vet. Another important group of worms to consider are tapeworms. While these parasites do not migrate through the intestinal wall or other parts of the horse they have can cause colic by triggering painful gut spasms, causing impactions by blocking movement of gut contents, or increasing the risk of intussusception- where the intestine ‘telescopes’ inside itself causing an obstruction. Colic is detrimental to equine welfare, can be expensive to treat and may require surgery for the horse to survive, meaning tapeworms should always be considered when formulating a worming protocol. Fortunately, tapeworm drug resistance has not yet been widely reported; however it is still recommended to use drugs wisely to preserve their efficacy, and use horse care funds wisely.

t Spot the redworm!


t Cyathostomes can cause severe diarrhoea when they emerge from the intestinal wall in large numbers. Prevention with a modern, targeted worming plan is recommended, as the intestinal damage caused can be fatal.



Horse Welfare

Cyathostomes spend a portion of their time encysted within the intestinal wall, making them difficult to treat. Only one worming

drug is left that can be used to treat this. As a result it should never be used for routine worming.

TARGETED WORMING As well as preserving the usefulness of medications for the future, another reason to use targeted worming is that it is more cost effective than routine dosing. A study into this has shown an up to 10% financial saving on a herd’s annual parasite control bill when using targeted worming compared to routine dosing. A recent RDA survey has found that less than one third of RDA groups that own or long-term loan horses are currently using a targeted worming protocol. Making this change together could free up valuable funds. A horse’s roundworm burden can be assessed by performing a faecal egg count – carefully processing a sample of droppings and counting the number of eggs per gram using a microscope.

TOP TIPS TO BEAT WORMER RESISTANCE • Good pasture hygiene is the most important step to reduce parasite burden in your horse’s environment. Try to get into a routine of ‘poo picking’ at least twice a week and rest/ rotate grazing where possible. • Take care grazing your horse at competitions and on grazing that has been poorly managed or may have been contaminated by horses of unknown parasite control status. • Consider co-grazing with another species of animal such as sheep. Horse-specific parasites will be killed in the sheep digestive tract and vice versa. • Take care co-grazing with donkeys, as they may carry lungworm (that can affect horses) without showing any outward signs. • Routine dosing with wormers increases the risk of resistance


developing: always check whether you need to worm before giving a dose. • Rotating drugs, which was a previously recommended routine worming technique has now been shown to actually increase the risk of wormer resistance. If you don’t have a problem with resistance on your yard, then changing wormers is not necessary. • Consider using faecal egg count reduction tests (FECRTs) with your vet. Horses with high counts are wormed and the egg count repeated to ensure the treatment has been effective. Using this approach you may find cheaper, ‘older’ anthelmintic drugs such as Pyrantel are still effective in your herd, saving further money compared to using more expensive ‘modern’ drugs such as Ivermectin, and saving these medicines for

when we need them. • If you do need to worm your horse, always weigh them accurately rather than guessing. Administering an inadequate dose of wormer significantly increases the risk of resistance developing, so if in doubt “round up” the dose- speak to your vet about how to do this safely. • Turning your horse out immediately after giving a dose of some wormers may lead to the presence of the drug in the environment, increasing the risk of worms encountering the chemical and becoming resistant. Consult the product datasheet, or speak to your vet for more information. • Newer drugs are not always ‘better’. Only use wormers containing Moxidectin on your vet’s advice, and never for routine dosing.

Horses with low counts do not require treatment as they will tolerate a small worm burden without ill effect. Horses with high faecal egg counts may be at a higher risk of disease, and using worming medications in these individual will also reduce the amount of eggs shed onto the pasture, protecting their field mates. These tests should be performed regularly throughout the grazing season. Tapeworm challenge can be assessed using blood or saliva samples to measure levels of anti-tapeworm antibodies, again to provide the correct treatment for individuals with a high burden, and reduce the amount of eggs being shed into the environment. These samples should not be taken more frequently than every six months, as antibody levels can remain high for a time after treatment. Sampling is routinely performed in spring and autumn; at the beginning and end of the grazing season. In herds with a low burden and good pasture hygiene, tapeworm sampling and/ or treatment may only be needed once a year. As around 80% of worms in an equine population are carried by around 20% of horses, repeat faecal analysis will help identify horses more susceptible to parasites; many healthy adult horses actually require little or no worming if pasture hygiene is good. High worm egg counts are more common in very young, very old or otherwise unwell horses, so an increased egg count in a horse that normally has a low count may be an early warning sign for another problem. PASTURE MANAGEMENT Good pasture management is vital, and can further reduce the amount of worming medication needed and therefore cost of parasite control to your group. Removing droppings regularly is the most important step, and some additional pasture management techniques are mentioned in the box left. Remember every yard is different, and other parasites can cause problems in UK horses, so you should always seek your vet’s advice when formulating or altering a parasite control plan. PROUD SPONSORS OF RDA MAGAZINE'S HORSE WELFARE FEATURES




Check that your horse has been treated effectively for encysted small redworm over the autumn/winter period. During the spring and summer months, conducting faecal worm egg counts will help to identify those horses that may require administration of a suitable wormer. Speak to your vet or SQP for advice on developing an individual worming plan tailored for your horse. @horsedialog


www.horsedialog.co.uk/worming-time-it-right Further information is available on the SPC or contact Zoetis UK Ltd, Walton Oaks, Tadworth, KT20 7NS. EQUEST & EQUEST PRAMOX are registered trademarks of Zoetis UK Ltd. Date of preparation: February 2017 AH128/17

Information brought to you by Zoetis, the manufacturers of



Out & About Join the conversation @RDANational: The










Out & About I

n this Summer issue, we find out about the myriad and varied RDA regional activities around the UK.

the dressage tests in the Regional Qualifier provided them with the opportunity. They training together, travelled to the venue together and supporting each other and the other Scropton RDA riders. Chloe rode first, and an excellent test secured her place at the National Championships. The pressure was on Phoebe, and she rode her best test and also qualified. Although they ride on different days, they have arranged to stay over to be there for each other. Through RDA, they have developed a real friendship, helping them progress with riding.

Matthew Dalley, Participant Representative & Publicity Officer, North Midlands

Ponies, plant sales, polishing, picnics, prizes and more!


ur region has 47 groups, and the South Region Qualifier sees entries from all four counties in the region and 75 competitors representing 12 groups. Fund raising activities include: Abingdon group’s tombola stall, plant sale

Pairs Dressage


hat better way to have a go at something new than with a friend? Chloe and Phoebe met at Scropton RDA and as their riding progressed, so their friendship developed. Both previously competed at the North Midlands Countryside Challenge Qualifier and decided to try dressage.

In-house competitions at the centre gave them a taster and watching more experienced riders taking part in Para Dressage provided inspiration. They started with test filming for Dressage Anywhere. They trained together, watched each other ride their tests, and provided encouragement. Ready to try their skills in a bigger arena,

Competitive activities


e have 16 riding groups, three carriage-driving groups, a hippotherapy group and one Accessibility Mark Centre within the region. Our

riding groups regularly use the RDA Tracker and offer Proficiency Tests in Riding and Horse Care, and are also involved in the excellent ASDAN qualification. We

@ S c r o p t o n R DA We ’ r e t h r i l l e d t o a n n o u n c e t h a t P e n n y & L i s a h av e o f f i c i a l l y p a s s e d t h e @ R DA n a t i o n


Out & About useful
















Through RDA, they have developed a real friendship, helping them progress with riding.

and fete, and a drawing competition; Andover group’s volunteers evening with a demonstration by Julie Payne on Para Equestrian Aids: What is the Difference?; the Hampshire and Surrey Borders Group’s Quiz night; and Lambourn group’s annual bridge lunch, and a tennis tournament. A volunteer from the Newbury group challenged herself to clean

have a Regional Qualifier for the RDA Championships at Hartpury, including judging the entries for the RDA Art competition. We offer dressage classes, and had a Countryside Challenge qualifier organised by Moray Group. Highland Group has an active RDA endurance section organised by Brenda Burnett, with regular RDA

and polish all the jodhpur boots on the shelves at Wyld Court. And Emma Ford (South Bucks group) was awarded the BEM in the Queens Birthday Honours List this year. Congratulations Emma! The Broadlands Group’s annual picnic ride, held for the last twenty years, was in the New Forest. “Riding in the New Forest was such enjoyment,” said Ola, one of the riders. “I

competitive rides in the countryside. The Garioch carriage-driving group regularly competes at Hartpury. Some of our riding groups have independent riders who compete at dressage, and these groups are happy to advise anyone who is interested in the RDA competitions and perhaps help with preparation. We

particularly enjoyed the long canter across the open green. It’s a feeling of adrenalin I don’t get elsewhere.” Suzanne Stratford, who has taught disabled children at Broadlands for over fifty years added: “It’s a wonderful day out for ponies, volunteers and families.”

Jill Fitzpatrick, Regional Publicity Officer, South

have a great coaching team including Pauline Corker (showjumping) that can help groups develop this activity. The Regional and County teams are very happy to support groups who would like to expand activities.

Barbara Manson, Chair Regional Committee, Grampian & Highlands

Therapy and riding


he Erme Valley group in South Devon has introduced equinefacilitated learning and therapy intertwined with riding sessions. Participants are encouraged and guided in bonding with their horses while developing skills such as self-awareness and using body language to communicate effectively with the animal and understand their natural behaviours and herd instincts. Sessions range from grooming in the stables, to leading in hand, lunging and free schooling. The focus of each session can be applied to themes: participants work together with the horses to improve teamwork, communication, confidence, decision making, leadership, self-awareness, and more. At Erme Valley, the sessions are tailored to develop skills or suit topics that may have cropped up during the week. For instance, participants have been using horses to reinforce the importance of working together as a team, good manners and thinking empathetically towards horses and peers. Equinefacilitated learning and therapy reminds us of the positive influence that horses can have on all of our lives and is something that all RDA groups can try.

Ellie Halton, South West

a l D r i v i n g a s s e s s m e n t t o j o i n u s a s @ R DA D r i v i n g i n s t r u c t o r - H u g e c o n g r a t u l a t i o n s t o b o t h o f y o u !



Out & About

Social media news feed: @Kesteven_RDA Well done to our riders today. Sue and Rio won their independently ridden dressage

Driving Success


inning at the Hopetoun RDA Challenge Cup 2018 was a first in several ways for Annandale & Eskdale Driving Group. It was the first time the Group had competed using their two new carriages, a Bennington

Fun Bug RS and a Fenix Freedom. Drivers and ponies had only four driving days to get used to the new vehicles, but the driving days were dry, which meant easy access to the grass to practice dressage and cones. Transporting two ponies and

Endurance ‘have a go’ competition


ur ‘have a go’ Endurance competition has run for two years. We organise it as part of the Showjumping Regional Qualifier and riders can either sign up beforehand or just join in on the day. This year, we were at Wilton RDA in Salisbury, where the group had access to a wood, bridleway and fields, making it an ideal location to hold our one and two kilometre event. The focus of Endurance is always on equine welfare. Horses are trotted up for the vet and have their heart rate taken before beginning the course. Each entrant is timed going round the course and heart rates are taken again at the end. Half way round there is a ‘Crew Point’, where volunteers provide water, a slosh bucket for hot days and a piece of carrot. Riders can have water too if they want it! This year the event coincided with RDA Endurance Week. We had the extra fun of hosting a live Facebook broadcast, which hopefully

inspired others to ‘have a go’ with their own groups. A highlight of the day has to be the joyful face of one of our riders as he listened to his horse’s heartbeat for the first time. Priceless.

Lizzie Blair, Regional Chair, Midwest

Empty nest no more


hat does a mum do? Your only daughter leaves home, then she takes the lurcher. Then she decides to take her pony. I had gone from being a busy mum, mucking out and caring for the pony every day and walking the dog, to a lady of leisure. Some of you may say I’m very lucky, but that’s not at all how I saw it. My best day of the week was Thursday, volunteering at

the Forth Carriage Driving Group RDA at Carronshore, Falkirk. The RDA has been great for me. I started with the driving group two years ago and the clients make me smile every time, along with new friends in the volunteers. I’ve helped support clients at Hopetoun regional competition and volunteered at the Oban holiday. I am now an RDA Driving Coach, and in January 2018, I was bought

Grace, a lovely black-andwhite mini cob driving pony. I have regular lessons, and hope Grace will become a four-legged member of our Thursday morning sessions. So my message is: not only do I have a fulfilling home life revolving round Grace, DIY livery and Thursdays at RDA, but getting involved for a few hours a week means we can all make a difference to our lives and that of clients and families.

Carol Williamson, West & Central Scotland

@mcguigan_philip Great visit to the Riding for Disabled Association centre in Coleraine this


Out & About


e test and Timmy achieved second place in his test. Lou, Sue and Timmy all rode great rounds round the countryside challenge...

two four-wheeled carriages was also a new challenge. Thanks to a volunteer’s kind offer, one carriage was taken to Hopetoun, and two horse trailers managed the rest. It was also a first for our youngest team member, 18-year-old Zoe Irving, who started driving in 2017. Zoe is visually impaired, but drove a winning dressage course without any help from her coach. Later, Zoe drove an excellent combined obstacle and cones course to clinch first place in the Novice Class. Thanks to the supporting team members, including Donald McPhail who took first place in the Intermediate Class, Annandale & Eskdale ended the day as the team with the highest cumulative score and took the David Brown Cup.

David Ivison, Chair Annandale and Eskdale Driving Group, Edinburgh & Borders

Welcome change for Jill


Dressage and horse care


ressage Anywhere is an online facility, with a section for RDA riders to practice, ride and film their test that is then uploaded on to the site for judging by experienced BD judges. Riders Eve and Billy qualified for the Dressage Anywhere Online Championships in May. The process of practising dressage movements, combined with becoming more aware of how the horse is going and learning how to make improvements, has been wonderful. It has provided a focus for lesson planning and riders have clear goals. Eve’s riding skills and confidence have

improved dramatically, and helped her prepare for Regional and National dressage Championships. We are planning a programme to encourage more of our riders to compete in Dressage Anywhere classes. Many thanks to Ruth and her team at Dressage Anywhere, who make it easy and enjoyable to take part. At North Ferriby Group, people suffering from mental health issues and physical problems are taking part in regular activities involving horse care, which can range from poo picking a field to mending a fence. This builds confidence in students with issues such as challenging behaviour and low esteem. These activities are in great demand and bring excellent feedback from beneficiaries.Â

Marion Langford and Debra Pea, Group Coaches, NE & South Yorkshire

ill Hanna drives with Ballyward Driving Group in Co. Down. In her youth, Jill worked as a groom in a busy yard, and competed in show jumping and junior eventing. She joined the driving Group at its formation in 2014. Registered blind in 1986, she retired from the hospitality industry in 2002. At one point, Jill applied to join a RDA riding group, but never got beyond a waiting list. She thinks driving is now a better option as it represents more of a challenge. Jill has progressed to driving with the reins on the bit as she has good hands, enjoys dressage and is mastering extended trot with Bert. The group coaches have a system of counting down to the letters where she performs a movement, she has a map of the dressage arena in her head (a relic of her eventing career), and has scored high in DVD dressage competitions. She also enjoys driving out. Jill greatly misses the companionship of her guide dog who recently retired, although another dog is in training. Good luck Jill! I hope this one is a success and becomes your constant companion for many years to come.

Julie Frazer, Regional Chair, Northern Ireland

mor ning to view f irst hand the work the staff & volunteers do for children with disabilities



Out & About

Social media news feed: @ K e r r y J o r d a n D a u s @ B r a d b o u r n e R D A T o d a y w e h e a r d E h a s p a s s e d h e r e

Driving Success


arriage driving at the Magpie Centre, home of West Norfolk RDA Group, has more than 30 participants. The recent acquisition of a wheelchair-friendly carriage with a lift has opened up carriage driving opportunities to people with a wider range of disabilities.The Magpie Centre

Holidays for everyone


art of the fun of a holiday is looking forward to it and talking about it afterwards! We are so lucky in our Region in having perfect places to stay at reasonable cost and riding groups who contribute so willingly in helping holidays to happen. Coaches tell me how much riders have enjoyed themselves, skills have improved and new friends made, all a great joy! We love to try something new, in a safe environment, and to offer the important chances to be an independent person. Many groups run exciting fun days, trekking and picnicking, visits to the coast, ride on the beach, in the sea, and maybe go there for the first

time. For others, time to play with ponies, have little competitions, not be rushed, all so much fun. This year, the carriage-driving holiday is in private parkland with miles of traffic-free tracks, a beautiful pool and home-made evening activities to bring everyone together. On grades holidays, riders continue improving their riding throughout the years. The joy of seeing how quiet people, who often live alone, blossom and thrive makes it all so worthwhile, and it’s so good to see the friendships, which develop through the common interest of horses.

Moira Wragg, Regional Publicity Officer, Yorkshire & Cleveland

is the only dedicated RDA riding and carriagedriving centre in Norfolk, and WNRDA is the only Group in the county to offer carriage driving. Its catchment extends from Fakenham in the northeast, across to Wisbech, Downham Market and south as far as Ely. The Centre has seven RDA coaches three staff members and four volunteers - and offers carriage driving on

Diverse team


’ve had a passion for driving since I was eight years old when my mum bought me a pony and local people gave me a harness to get started. My first taste of RDA was during the carriage-driving weekend course in October, 2017.

I learned many new skills, and to drive coachman. The existing groups were helpful as it was new and a steep learning curve. I’m so happy as a carriage driving coach, and it’s rewarding to pass on my skills to participants.

@Kesteven_RDA So proud of our riders at the North Midlands Regional Dressage Qualifiers. A first placing for Emily


Out & About


e x a m . Yo u b e l i e v e , w e b e l i e v e a n d E a c h i e v e d . # V e r y p r o u d # N e v e r S t o p F i g h t i n g F o r I n c l u s i o n

Le Trec

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday each week. Of the Centre’s 14 equines, one is for driving only, another two are ride and drive, plus a further two riding cobs are in training, due to be assessed for driving at the end of July. The majority of carriage-driving participants enjoy the activity as a purely social outlet, but as new horses are assessed, the Centre hopes to attract drivers who might like to represent WNRDA in competition.

Caroline Dudley, Norfolk Group, East

I am proud of the successful assessment and can’t wait for the summer when I finish college and I can do more driving. I am younger than the other members of the carriage-driving group, and it makes the group more diverse as our different skills make us an excellent team. I’m able to relate to the younger participants and have built up a great rapport with participants similar to my age, and we have lots of banter while driving. My goal is to drive at Royal Windsor Horse Show next year and train one of my participants to win the class.

James Wiseman, Carriage Driving Coach at Park Lane Stables, Greater London


radbourne Group in Kent is in its third year running a Le Trec competition for carriage drivers, adapted from the ridden version using the British Driving Society website. Open to other groups from the region, we run various classes including novice and open, ambulant and non-ambulant. Phase 1 is the safety/standing presentation, awarding or deducting points for correct harnessing, vehicle balancing, driver attire, comprehensive spares kit and other safety features. Phase 2 is a timed distance/ cones course using the British Carriage driving method and Phase 3 is the untimed skills/ activities. Skills include halt and rein back between two poles, throwing beanbags into a bucket, moving flags

between cones and going through a ‘gate’. Our most popular activity is ‘walking the plank’, where a ground helper carries cups of water along a raised plank and passes to the driver who carries the water over the finish line with the levels being measured to win points. The key to running a Le Trec competition is having the space, a good team of volunteers and planning ahead. The benefits are very real. All our drivers have a good time and many have grown in confidence, with the ‘busy-ness’ helping drivers to focus and often excelling in tasks they wouldn’t normally consider attempting.

Debbie Tatton, CD Coach & Assessor, Bradbourne Group, South East

Promoting Dressage in North Wales


s Regional Dressage Rep for North Wales, I help groups get more from this versatile and oftenmisunderstood activity. The terminology can be a barrier, as people think it is only for advanced riders doing paradressage, but dressage is just about learning flatwork skills: different paces, guiding your horse and transitions, and about working your horse in better and getting the most out of its natural movement. Riders at all levels can benefit from dressage. There are riders who want to compete, and go as far as they can in the sport, and I look forward to supporting that journey in any way I can. I am also passionate about bringing the benefits of dressage to riders of all abilities. Dressage is great for building confidence, skills and enjoyment – and RDA offers lots of ways to support and recognise achievement, whatever form that may take. I welcome the opportunity to visit individual groups to run taster sessions, to show how dressage can help riders achieve their goals. Contact: lindalawebster@ tiscali.co.uk

Dressage Rep, Linda Webster, North Wales

y and Fudge with a very polished performance and the highest score of the day on the Restricted section. Sue and...



Out & About Social media news feed: @louisegreer20 #TeamMannanan strutting our stuff yesterday, qualifying for the RDA

S-bend and more


den RDA has introduced the ‘S Bend’ obstacle to weekly rider activities. The rider can approach from either end, with six jumping poles arranged in an ‘s’ shape. Also at Eden, the Juniors therapy group’s activities include quoits, fishing, river crossing, steering, halting, cups, and balls through hoops. Coaches Ann Harrison and Alli Upton at West Cumbria RDA group attended an Introduction to Therapeutic Riding course at New Barn Farm Knutsford. Westmorland driving group, and pony ‘Monty’ provides driving for young people from Bleasdale School, a residential special school in North Lancashire: “We had

Confidence boost


met this 14-year old volunteer and her friend at our Regional Qualifier in May. Both girls turned out early to help move equipment and set up arenas. I didn’t notice her lack of one hand. She talked about her enthusiasm for RDA and the opportunity it has given her. She followed our chat with a note and photograph. This is Georgia’s story: “I learnt about the RDA Centre when Jo McGhee brought the mechanical horse to Bishop of Hereford Bluecoat School. I was viewing the school to decide which secondary school I wanted to attend, and I had a ride on it, I was hooked. I’ve been a rider and volunteer at Hereford RDA for about two years, after starting to ride again. I rode @PegasusCentre


age three, but the teacher moved away and it was her horse I got on well with; I rode Western style. Hereford RDA has made me more confident. There is always someone to talk to, and it’s given me opportunities such as dressage competitions, and meeting new people. Rachel King has sorted the correct reins, as I only have one hand; these help me control a horse. Since becoming a volunteer, my confidence has increased. I now feel less shy and more confident around people I don’t know.” This is RDA in action.

Trevor White, Regional Publicity Officer, West Mercia




Equinefacilitated learning


e’ve thought about trying the Countryside Challenge competition, but worried about being up to the standard. However, last year we took riders to the Clytha Park fun day and saw how everyone benefited from going, which encouraged us to be braver. We sent off our Regionals entry, and a plea for help for resource met with offers of milk churns, barrels and the best post box.




The welcome at Pencoed College was friendly and supportive. As the Coach I was nervous, but had a brilliant assistant who had managed to learn the instructions, and super volunteers. We were so proud of our riders Rebecca, Susan and Tiffany who rode beautifully. Harry, our pony, thought it was quite exciting. Taking part was a major achievement, but to discover Susan had come first in her class was totally overwhelming. Susan’s mother said: “Susan has been having a very challenging time recently and the opportunity to





Out & About


National championships held in July #dressage #para @SummerhouseEC @newhunthorses @brocktoncourtRDA


no idea how our new drivers would react to bumping round the field. It turned out that they are all speed fiends, the more we trot the better, we are delighted by their obvious enjoyment.” Pupils communicate via a switch to control ‘Monty’ the pony or through Makaton signing to say they would like more driving or they want to finish. After practice and repetition, some pupils can now get

in and out of the carriage with minimal help. For some pupils, riding in the carriage has made them relaxed and calm with a positive outcome on their behaviour.

Gina Martlew and Eve Pattinson, Coaches for the Junior and Senior Eden Group; Jenny Harris, CD Coach; Karen Hodgson, Care Manager Bleasdale School.

No Obstacles


had an awesome time on the North West Region’s riding holiday at Clwyd! I looked after Moo all weekend, including grooming, rugging up, catching from the field, putting him out and cleaning his tack. I learnt about horse care from the RDA volunteers, and I really appreciated their patience with me. I had two rides each day, using the indoor arena and the all-weather outdoor track. On Saturday, we helped demonstrate the Countryside Challenge for instructors to learn how to judge the obstacles. It was quite scary riding in front of everyone, although they weren’t judging our riding and we were encouraged to make mistakes!

compete at the regional qualifier was a real positive in her life. She was thrilled to win her class and qualified for Hartpury on the first time she competed in anything. It was a huge, much-needed boost to her selfconfidence and self-esteem. She couldn’t wait to get home and show her grandparents her rosette and sash.’

I also had a lesson on the mechanical horse, cantering along a virtual beach. It was great to meet riders from other Groups and listen to their experiences. I was awarded my Grade 3 Riding and Horse Care. I am more confident around horses, and I help tack up and lead younger riders in my RDA Group. I am working towards my Bronze YELA award. This experience has inspired me to become the best rider I can and let no obstacles get in my way. I feel more confident and have made some good friends. A big thank you to all the coaches and volunteers who made this possible.

Matt Parker, North West

Joan Lean and Julie Humphry, Regional co-Chairs, South Wales






@ Ye l a S c h e m e




Calendar 2018

20-24 August

Calendar 2018

09 September

Escrick Park Driving Holiday Location: Queen Margaret’s School, York

Dressage Test Riding Location: Acrecliffe Equestrian Centre

25 September



Grade 4 to Gold Training Holiday Location: Beamsley Project, Skipton

Beamsley Riding Holiday Location: Draughton Riding Centre

03-07 September

13-17 August

03-07 September

13-17 August

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Beamsley Side Saddle Holiday Location: Acrecliffe Riding Centre

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