Monique, Volunteer at Bay of Islands Group RDA
Monique Darge first started at Bay of Islands Group RDA a few years ago. Being a busy mother of three young boys, and with a husband who travelled from the Bay of Islands to Whangarei each day for work, has not deterred Monique from volunteering her time at the arena.
Bay of Islands Group RDA Coach, Glenys Rossell, says that Monique has put countless hours into training, exercising and cleaning the paddocks of their four RDA ponies.
“We all admire the bond that Monique has developed with the ponies, and her commitment to learn more in the way of horse training and equine husbandry.”
Monique also attends the Tuesday and Thursday riding sessions, and has proved popular with the children.
She is often called upon to help with the cleaning out of the Horse’s hooves on session days, which some of the other Volunteers find a little arduous due to their age, and she often brings in her ‘delicious’ baking on session days too.
A qualified Veterinary Nurse, Monique says that ponies were part of her life growing up on her parent’s dairy farm, and has enjoyed the opportunity to work and care for them again 20 years later
“At the beginning of this year I started to help out our Trainer with exercising and training of the ponies. I have found this very rewarding and have realised the importance of having happy, healthy, safe ponies available for the children.”
Monique says that she has also discovered how much work, effort and knowledge it takes to keep RDA ponies in top shape. This year she has also started helping prepare the ponies for the sessions, as well as learning the ropes of both the Sidewalker and Leader positions.
To help build her equine skills, Monique was recently chosen as one of the 15 people to receive a Study Offer placement courtesy of Training For You. In 2014 she will be undertaking the National Certificate in Equine Level Three (Care & Handling).
Monique says that this Study Offer Placement will allow her to build on her basic equine knowledge, and become a better Volunteer for Bay of Islands Group RDA.
“This placement will give me the confidence to deal with the handling, care and management of our Group’s ponies in every aspect, and also enable me to share this knowledge within our RDA Group.”
Read more of our RDA Volunteer Stories