An interview with our longest standing volunteer, Anne
This year we celebrate Anne's 40th year of commitment to the charity. As part of our series of interviews with key people associated with the charity, Anne has kindly given her views about her time with our special charity.
How did you first hear about the charity?
From a close friend of mine who was running the Thursday morning group at the time.
Who is your favourite pony and why?
As I have been helping for a long time now there have been quite a few! I remember Harley who was a Piebald pony and very calm and gentle; Rosie was a willing grey who was quite nice to lead (as long as you realised she had rather sharp teeth!) and JimBob, the pony I help with at the moment, who always seems to to try hard for the children.
What has kept you continuing to volunteer with the charity?
The enjoyment the children get from the riding and being with the ponies.
What would be the impact if RDA wasn't available to the riders in your group?
A source of exercise would be taken from them and the fact that they are able to enjoy doing something that their more able friends do not.
What do you feel are the biggest benefits to the children and young people in your group with regard to riding?
It gets them out of the classroom and helps them to learn a completely new skill and also teaches them to be considerate to the ponies and form a relationship with their helpers, and gradually builds up their confidence. Riding also helps improve their balance and their co-ordination and helps them to exercise parts of their body other activities do not.
What have been the highlights for you with regard to your time with the RDA?
To see a child who for a while was very frightened about getting on a pony gradually getting the confidence to mount and enjoy the ride, and then being able to go home or back to school and tell someone about their adventure. The various Christmas rides and end of term competitions are always very enjoyable occasions.
In three words please sum up how you feel about our RDA.
Enjoyment. Adventure. Confidence.