St MARY BOURNE RIDE
Children with learning and physical disability.
Weds. mornings. Children Icknield. Norman Gate.
Coaches: Ruth Kay.
The St Mary Bourne Ride meets during term time from April to the end of October at Swampton Farm on Wednesday mornings from 9.30 to 11.45. We teach children from Icknield and Norman Gate schools allocating about an hour’s teaching for each school.
We ended last term on a high with a wonderful display from the riders and ponies that was much admired and appreciated by parents from both schools. Children from Icknield School attended the Fun Day and thoroughly enjoyed it. We presented a cup to Gus for most improved rider – he spent his first three sessions too frightened even to approach the ponies but by the end of the Summer Term he was the most eager to get on and ride and really began to communicate with both the pony and helpers which was a fantastic result. We also presented a cup to Matilda for the best riding. She was a real ‘natural’ and clearly loved every minute of her sessions. All the Norman Gate children received their Grade 1 certificates at the end of the Autumn Term and really progressed in the Summer Term, learning to stop, start, hold the reins properly and bend and turn whilst having lots of fun.
Ruth Kay began her coaching pathway in the Summer Term and was a total star from the start. The children love her, and she manages to make the lessons fun and get the children listening and learning with apparent ease. We look forward to her achieving full coaching status as soon as possible!
Our RDA ponies Molly, Bel, Smarties and Tilly have been reliable and steady and very popular with their riders. We are very, very grateful to Mary for looking after Molly, Bel and Tilly and to Lisa and Molly Wood for their fantastic care of Smarties. We are looking for a new carer to take over for Smarties as Molly has really outgrown her, but Lisa has very kindly agreed to keep on caring for her until then. We also owe a huge thank you to Jo Strong who looks after Millie and Solo. Millie started last term and has proved herself to be a fantastic RDA pony. She is very steady and is already very popular with the children and helpers alike.
Thank you to Lesley Jeffery for the use of her yard and school during sessions. Of course, last but by no means least we have a really fantastic ‘bank’ of 18 volunteers. We always seem to have lots to laugh about even when the weather is foul. They really are wonderful people to give up their precious time and devote it to the children the way they do. A huge thank you to them all.
Alex Hanbury Williams