More helpers needed

Ryan Munteanu enjoys his horse ride at Hills RDA, assisted by volunteers Kate Wilkinson and Rose Grenfell.
Ryan Munteanu enjoys his horse ride at Hills RDA, assisted by volunteers Kate Wilkinson and Rose Grenfell.

Riding school coach Willie Warnock said the helpers came from all over the Hills area.

‘The volunteers catch the horses, groom them, saddle them, help the riders onto the horse and unsaddle the horse at the end of the ride,’ she said.

‘They help for several hours each session, with some helping out a few times a week. The minimum age for volunteers is 12 years and it is great to see so many young people involved.’

Riders aged from three years onwards participate, with horses available to suit different sizes, weights and abilities.

‘Every rider sets their own goals for what they want to achieve: this may be social skills, mobility or trusting the horses,’ Mrs Warnock said.

‘We help them achieve these goals by including therapeutic exercises, games geared to challenge their needs and always having lots of fun.’

Ryan Munteanu (15) and twin brother Aaron have been attending Hills RDA for several years.

They ride on Wednesdays, when volunteers Kate Wilkinson, Rose Grenfell, Celine Prince and Christina Gallo lend a hand at the Sawyers Valley riding school.

Ryan said he liked being around the horses, while Aaron said he enjoyed sitting up high.