Addy gets used to change!
Addy started with RDA when she was four years old and came every second Saturday. As with many of the beginner riders, she started on Lacey – such a reliable and willing horse!
Your kind donation can help children start at a young age with our in-demand ride programmes. Just like Addy.
Addy’s love for all things equine was obvious from the start, and it was evident that Lacey the horse was the critical team member that was going to get Addy doing all that physio that she was not so keen on!
After a couple of years of riding, it was clear that fortnightly was not enough for Addy – she needed a weekly horse fix! So she changed to a weekly class. Carol was Addy’s first Coach and Carol remembers Addy as a quiet, polite girl with a captivating smile but her balance wasn’t great. Lacey had a good steady length of stride to help Addy with her balance and they soon bonded. This led to Addy became more confident in her riding and in herself.
Addy has progressed considerably over the years, first moving to a weekly riding session with her primary school and then riding independently in the sport and recreation class on a Friday morning. Kat is her Coach and Kat has enjoyed coaching Addy. Changing riding days, classes and coaches for some is an easy thing to do, but for Addy these changes were significant, and she did it without any outward signs of concern, all because it meant she was getting more time with horses!
Her mum Robyn says,“RDA has managed to introduce and teach Addy to cope with and enjoy change and adaptability. One example of this is she loved riding Lacey – ONLY Lacey and gosh now she has ridden so many more ponies and sees the enjoyment in getting to know another horse, even if there are some challenging hurdles to overcome, there is a chance of something better.”
Enjoying change and being adaptable – they are key skills that you can enable riders to achieve.
Robyn says that Addy finds learning and retaining what has been learned challenging due to her cognitive disabilities. However, she learnt left and right from Lacey. Off a horse this is still confusing but on a horse these things all make sense!
The young Addy, being autistic, struggled and dreaded attending big group functions. However, through exposure to group get-togethers with a horse focus such as the RDA Christmas party, crowds are becoming less of a problem. Addy was previously terrified of the crowds, Santa and the noise. Recently, Addy willingly went to a local pony club competition with her current RDA mount Toby and loved it!
Robyn says before RDA this concept would have been unheard of!
“A school assembly took years to crack but on a horse Addy has so much courage and resilience. She has superpowers when on a horse!”
Addy was eager to put her hand up to be one of the first riders in a sport and recreation class when her local RDA started these classes. She now confidently brings her horse in, tacks them up, warms them up on the lead and then rides in the class – all with minimal assistance and with extremely good physical endurance – as she then heads back to her school for a full day of classes!
She has progressed through multiple mounts in the sport and recreation lessons. (She never says no to trying a new horse now). Her RDA finds the horse that will work with her and will push her further with her balance and her riding skills. The physical strength and determination to become more evenly balanced has been a real focus this last year, with her horse Toby being a great teacher for Addy. This year Addy has progressed from Toby to another pony that is more suited to her and will provide the next challenge for her riding development.
Watch riders thrive! With a little bit of help, riders can transfer their learnings from their riding session to new situations.
Addy was nominated for Rider of the Year in 2022 specifically because she was able to demonstrate huge improvement – for example being able to take Toby to an inter-Pony Club competition – a jelly-bean gymkhana! She went on to win several ribbons over the course of the day in a massive class of 12 independent riders. (A walk and trot class). Attending an event like this (like with an Agricultural Day, which is her other passion – leading cows), where she participates as an equal, makes Addy feel 100 percent happy and provides memories. Robyn says these moments in time do stick with her and do have impact. Everyone is looking forward to seeing how far Addy can go with her riding and winning Rider of the Year has given her that next boost in confidence that is needed!
You can choose to donate and your generous gift will be used to train coaches and volunteers to support riders in their ride programme.