ABBOTTS ANN RIDE.
Mondays 1 - 3pm April to October. 1 - 2pm indoors October to April.
Coaches: Sarah Oldham, Penny Wilkins, Barry Curd and Maureen Wood.
What a year!! As with everything Covid-19 has affected us, but not as badly as our children's rides. We were, of course, able to operate normally until March and organise 13 riding sessions before Christmas and five afterwards for our eight adult riders, whose ages range between 26 and 61.
Before the October half term we rode at Pegasus in Monxton, thanks to Candi Soames, and then during the winter months we were indoors at Catherston Stud, courtesy of the Lorriston-Clarks, until we had to stop after the 9th of March due to Covid regulations. When restrictions began easing a bit we were, thankfully, able to offer riding again to three people who don't need physical help to mount and dismount and for whom transport could be arranged. The three, Jack, Simona and Owen, have all benefitted hugely from the extra attention our instructor, Sarah Oldham, has been able to give them and have come on in leaps and bounds.
Usually we have a holiday in August, but because no one could really go away we just carried on this year. When we were able to start up again so many of our wonderful volunteers were able, and longing, to help that we have had to run a rota system as we only need two or three each week.
Sadly it seems we have lost Theresa Jackson, one of our riders who has been with us for many years. She came back once after lock-down to say goodbye because she feels that her MS has now got too bad for her to ride. We all miss her. We may also have lost Emma Proverb, but hope she might feel up to coming back one day. So, at the time of writing this, there are eight riders and one “question master” on the Abbotts Ann books, but we have other people wanting and waiting to come when it is possible.
As for many years, we were kindly offered at charity box at Olympia for the Christmas Horse Show by the Walter Guinness Charitable Trust and seven of our riders went along and had a wonderful time.
Now ending with some good news...the recent guidelines from RDA head office mean that we can now offer riding sessions again to two more of our riders. They may be very stiff having not been on a horse for seven months!!!!