Riders saddle up for a busy season

Pegasus Centre at Tranwell taking part in 'The World's Biggest Riding Lesson' to raise funds for and awareness of Riding for the Disabled Association.
Pegasus Centre at Tranwell taking part in 'The World's Biggest Riding Lesson' to raise funds for and awareness of Riding for the Disabled Association.

THERE’S plenty of horsing around at a disabled riding centre as it enjoys a busy autumn season.

The Pegasus Centre in Tranwell was one of a number of facilities to saddle up for the World’s Biggest Riding Lesson last month to raise awareness and funds for the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

Thirty local riders took part in the event, including the Morpeth RDA riders, members of Morpeth Hunt Pony Club and individual supporters, as they joined fellow horse enthusiasts across the globe for a series of lessons.

Funds were raised through donations for the RDA and therapeutic riding groups overseas, but the main purpose of the event was to raise the profile of the charity.

The Pegasus event was a huge success, but organisers have little time to reflect on their achievements as they now have a packed programme of half-term activities to deliver, as well as a dressage competition and fund-raising ball.

The centre will be offering youngsters the chance to find out more about riding and horse care next week.

But it has also teamed up with Blyth Valley Arts and Leisure (BVAL) to provide a range of other exciting outdoor pursuits.

There will be archery lessons and pony days, as well as a day of outdoor fun for young people with disabilities organised through the Ability2Play initiative.

Centre Manager Martin Peagam said: “We are looking forward to providing an exciting and enjoyable week for youngsters, where they discover new, fun activities.”

Meanwhile, the dressage competition, which is already full with 25 competitors, will take place on Friday, October 28, and on the same day there will be a Black and White Ball at the Riverside Lodge in Morpeth to raise funds for RDA and the rehabilitation of laminitic horses.

The centre’s busy schedule is supported by a number of dedicated volunteers, but Mr Peagam is appealing for even more to come forward to help in a variety of ways.

People can assist in the riding arena as instructors or helpers, work in the stables, or support behind-the-scenes activities, such as fund-raising or organising events.

In return, volunteers can gain new skills and qualifications.

“We are very successful in providing a wide programme of activities for people with disabilities to discover the physical and emotional fulfilment that comes from riding and much of that success is down to our volunteers,” said Mr Peagam.

“However, we are always on the look-out for new volunteers. We can help volunteers acquire skills and qualifications, which may help them when finding jobs.

“In association with the Riding for the Disabled Association we can work with young people to help them gain meaningful qualifications.”

To find out more about volunteering, contact Mr Peagam on 01670 518219.

Details of the half-term activities are as follows:

l Archery lessons, Monday and Thursday, from 10am to noon. They are open to youngsters aged eight to 16 and cost £2 per person. Participants must wear suitable, long-sleeved clothing.

l Pony Days, Tuesday and Thursday, from 9am to noon. Youngsters can learn about horse grooming and have the opportunity to ride. They cost £30 and places are limited so booking is essential. Participants must wear suitable clothing.

l Ability2Play, Wednesday, from 10am to 3.30pm. Youngsters aged five to 19 can enjoy horse-related activities, as well as bike rides, camp crafts and other outdoor adventures. The cost is £4. Participants will need a packed lunch and should wear suitable outdoor clothing.

Turn up at the start of the sessions or book in advance on 01670 518219.