The essential role of the Coach is to assess clients, devise appropriate familiarisation and riding sessions, and then monitor progress. But of course, it is much more than this.
Our coaches develop a rapport with each rider, and gently instil confidence and trust over time. They match the pony to the rider, and ensure that all safety measures are in place before starting. That means well trained volunteers to act as side walkers and lead rein – usually 3 people for every rider who are confident around horses; calm and tuned-in to potential distractions, and who can be relied upon to concentrate on the task in hand.
Meet our Coaches
Ro bought Lowlands over 30 years ago and started Lowlands RDA over 20 years ago.
She coached the GB Paralympic team to Gold in Atlanta and is retired as a County Coach but remains a Training adviser.
She is adored by all, demonstrated by the fantastic turnout for her eightieth (yes 80th!) birthday party a couple of years ago.
Ro Pudden MBE
I became involved with RDA in 2005, with non-disabled riding lessons for my daughter.
I became a volunteer in 2007, a trustee in 2010 - then Group Chairman last year.
I love volunteering for RDA because it's so rewarding being able to see people achieve positive results and to have such enjoyable experiences.
Lisa has been riding for 27 years and has her own Horse called Rolo.
She started at Lowlands Farm 13 years ago then trained and became a Group Coach in 2016.
Lisa says she really enjoys teaching the children and watching them develop and get better over time, and build a bond with the horses.
Behind the Scenes
Lowland Farm RDA relies on a host of volunteers to keep the stable running smoothly. From tacking-up in preparation for a rider, to feeding, grooming, and tack cleaning. They also keep the arena clean and orderly – yes, poo picking, but also clearing away unfamiliar equipment which might spook a horse momentarily.
Volunteers also provide the essential role of lead rein and side walking – patient and friendly people giving the rider added confidence and safety while maintaining a steady pace according to the Coach’s instructions.
Lowlands Farm is always looking for more volunteers. If you think you’d like to come and see what we do, call us on 01926 843 403. Don’t be surprised if we don’t answer immediately – we’re probably with a client or tending to the horses. You can also email us firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll do our best to respond as soon as we're free!