Riding for the Disabled (RDA) is looking for more volunteers to come on board and help.
Vice-president, volunteer coordinator and coach Sylvia Grasmueck said although the group had several volunteers on its books, some had since had to find work, and difficulties with Covid-19 regulations meant ‘‘things haven’t always panned out’’.
Sessions ran on a Tuesday and Thursday, morning or afternoon, and they needed people who could commit for three hours, mostly getting horses ready and assisting clients, Mrs Grasmueck said.
‘‘You’ve got to be comfortable with horses and like people.’’
There were 23 riders who would ‘‘come and go’’, and more were wanting to enrol, but that was limited by the number of volunteers, she said.
‘‘The more volunteers we have, the more flexible we are, and the more we can do.’’
Volunteering had many benefits, and there were also ‘‘many layers’’ of benefits for the clients, both physical and mental.
‘‘It helps with their balance, and with their co-ordination, their core strength. Then there’s the mental side of being with an animal, and having a relationship with an animal — the touch of it.’’
Being outdoors was great for mental health, and the sessions helped with confidence building, and overcoming fear, Mrs Grasmueck said.
The group had six horses — three owned by RDA, and three on loan. Horses were hard to come by, Mrs Grasmueck said.
‘‘We’re happy to take on another horse, if we could.’’
Volunteers needed to be open to learning and have a ‘‘team player’’ attitude. They also needed to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, and a police check and references would be required.
Those interested could phone or text 022 309 4933 or email email@example.com.