Swang Pony Centre Expands Service to Disabled Riders
Swang Pony Centre in Cannington is delighted to have secured Accessibility Mark accreditation to expand its services to disabled people.
Elaine Foster opened Swang Pony Centre in 2009 with a vision for teaching children to ride, but as the business went from strength to strength she realised the demand within the community was further reaching.
With this in mind, Elaine and her husband Ray looked into the possibility of becoming an RDA centre but the complicated process meant it was not a viable option for them.
Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with Hoof, the British Equestrian Federation’s (BEF) participation programme launched the Accessibility Mark scheme to encourage those who do not already partake in equestrian activities or would not usually have the opportunity to do so, to experience the many benefits that riding can bring.
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that they offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure they provide you with a first class service and an experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.
A Pony Club and British Horse Society approved centre, Swang Pony Centre boasts excellent facilities, with seven members of staff and three apprentices helping Elaine with the day to day running.
It is compulsory for every member of staff including volunteers to undertake the training set out by RDA in order for a centre to meet the criteria for accreditation, giving client’s confidence in the ability of staff to provide a safe and rewarding lesson.
The centre plans to offer flexible sessions tailored to the requirements of the individual, either during standard group lessons or as dedicated Accessibility Mark session.
Said Elaine: “The training provided by Lizzie Hill from RDA was inspiring and we also found it helpful to improve our teaching throughout.
“As we already had a number of disabled clients I knew the many benefits that riding could bring, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to expand this service with the full support of such a well-respected organisation as RDA.”
“I look forward to welcoming new clients and to providing more opportunities to people of all abilities in the local area. Just spending time with horses can also have a tremendous effect on mental-wellbeing.”
If you are interested in taking up horse-riding, the centre is offering a free unmounted assessment to new clients.
There are currently 37 Accessibility Mark approved centres across the country.
For more information about Swang Pony Centre visit www.swangponycentre.co.uk
To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk.