A Milton Keynes equestrian centre has secured an accreditation to a national scheme to encourage more disabled people to take up horse riding.
With the mental and physical benefits of horse riding well documented, the centre hopes its Accessibility Mark accreditation will help reach out to a wider group of riders.
The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of opening up more opportunities for disabled people to participate in riding.
Following an appeal for more volunteers, the centre’s staff, including the new team of volunteers participated in a compulsory training day with an ASO (Accessibility Support Officer).
The training focused on the challenges faced by disabled riders and lesson planning, to enable staff to make the sessions productive and safe whilst keeping them fun and interactive.
The Pony Club-approved centre currently offers lesson to riders of all ages and abilities, delivered by qualified staff who have all received training in child protection/safeguarding and first aid.
As well as riding lessons, the centre also provide lessons to NVQ level in Horse Care. Just spending time with horses can promote a general sense of well-being and improve confidence, something the centre hopes they can achieve with both ridden and un-mounted sessions.
A spokesperson from Bryerley Springs Riding Centre said: “Brylerley Springs is a great place to learn to ride and we pride ourselves on the welcoming atmosphere our clients experience. We really hope to be able to open up our doors to more members of the community with the message that horse riding is an activity that is available to everyone.
“The Accessibility Mark accreditation demonstrates our ability to safely and confidently accommodate riders with a range of disabilities and the support from the RDA means we can seek advice where necessary to ensure every rider can set achievable goals.”
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by the RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.
For further information contact Bryerley Springs Equestrian Centre on 01525 261 823 or visit http://bryerleysprings.co.uk