My son, who has a very rare chromosome disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder, did not speak until he was 7. His first words were to the pony we had just bought his elder brother. I discovered first-hand the therapeutic power of horses.
I first became involved with RDA when my son, who is motivated solely by horses, became a volunteer at the Elisabeth Curtis Centre. This was approximately 14 years ago.
My son began competing with RDA in 2014 when classes for participants with a learning disability were first introduced. He has competed at the Regional Qualifiers every year since then (apart from 2020), and has qualified for the national Championships each time.
RDA now recognise that 80% of participants have a learning disability.
In 2017 I was asked to become County Chairman for Bedfordshire and since then I have become a Trustee at the Centre and recently, I have taken on the role of new Volunteer Coordinator and I have also joined the Fundraising Group.
I feel that I bring a unique perspective to the Management Committee at the Elisabeth Curtis Centre as I am, first and foremost, Mum to a Disabled participant and Mum to a Disabled Volunteer.
We have our own horses at home, so I understand the hard work that goes into caring for the ponies and the training and preparation involved for competition.
This wider involvement, enables me to see the bigger RDA picture and I understand that the issues we face in Bedfordshire are reflected both Regionally and Nationally.