Our riders are children and adults of all ages and they come from a variety of backgrounds. They build trust in our ponies and volunteers and lasting friendships are made.
Anyone interested in riding with us must first complete a Rider Application Form and return this to us with a little background information. We may also sometimes need more supporting information from the rider’s medical professional. We then carry out an RDA pre-rider assessment as it is always important that riders and ponies are carefully matched according to their weight, height and disability.
At Chalkdown we are very fortunate to have small ponies able to accommodate tiny riders right up to our largest 16hh hunter who is able to take riders up to around 13 stones, depending on the disability of the rider. Sometimes we will start off with just five minutes in the saddle, especially for our little riders, and then we very gradually increase to a full session of half an hour. There is no rush and no pressure.
Riding sessions are therapeutically beneficial but they are also fun and varied. We have the use of the large indoor arena at Duckhurst Farm Equestrian Centre in Staplehurst which gives us a safe controlled environment in which to hold our group sessions and sometimes our riders can even go out on a countryside hack.
We always like to give our riders a goal to aim for. Sometimes this is as simple as just getting on the pony and sitting up straight but others can work through RDA Proficiency Grades or Endeavour Awards where they are awarded certificates and rosettes. We even take some of our riders and ponies to regional competitions and events. The highlight of the year.
If you think you might be interested please get in touch and we can arrange for you to come along to have a chat and see what our riders achieve. There is always tea and coffee for those waiting and of course cake!