After 12 months in limbo due to COVID19, Riding for the Disabled is planning to be back in action at Somersby from March 1 and is kicking off its return with a training and volunteer day on February 27.
Coach Jenny Cameron, who is a past president of the organisation and also a regional rep for the area, said COVID had not only seen lessons abandoned, but had presented logistical problems for the group.
“We ran two lessons last year and then we were locked down,” Cameron said.
With no lessons running, the organisation still had to care for the horses during the shut-down.
“There has been rain, which has been great, so we’ve had feed for the horses,” Cameron said.
“But it’s really been left to half a dozen people to keep things going.
“We’ve had to care for the horses one person at a time because of COVID restrictions.
“We have a new horse and we’re getting all the horses washed and spruced up ready for lessons to resume.
“We’re really happy to be starting up again.
“All the paperwork is done, and we just hope all the schools will be able to organise travel, to resume with us.
“All things being equal we will re-start lessons on March 1.”
Cameron said the group was also getting organised to host the state AGM on May 1.
“There are 36 centres across NSW and we’re looking forward to hosting the AGM,” Cameron said.
“The Central Coast was one of the first centres to open, 43 years ago.
“We originally started at Tall Timbers and in 2002 we moved to our current premises at Somersby.”
The charitable organisation caters mostly for school groups, with Tuesdays and Saturdays being reserved for private clients.
“We have a couple of coaches in training and we’re hoping to build up to a full complement again – it’s almost like starting a new centre.
“We have plenty of people in the wings, waiting to ride.”
Cameron has been involved with the organisation for 23 years.
“Riding is such good therapy for disabled children” she said.
“It’s all about the discipline and the fact they are doing something their friends don’t do.
The official Training and Volunteer Day will be held between 10am and noon on February 27 at Riding for the Disabled off Kangoo Rd at Somersby.
Volunteers are needed to help with the horses and perform general work around the facility.
“Volunteers do not need any expertise as we will train them, but a love of the outside, horses and disabled riders would be a good plus,” Cameron said.
“We will be having morning tea and a tour of the wonderful centre.”
For more information call 0412 393 452.