A NEW riding school staffed by more volunteers is on the horizon for people living with special needs in the Hills.
More than 20 volunteers turned out for a recent training session at Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Hills Group in Sawyers Valley.
Coach Willie Warnock led the workshop with the help of two volunteers, occupational therapist Jane Liddiard physiotherapist and Sheila Seal.
“We’ve been searching for land to establish a new, permanent riding centre for the past five years and I think we’re within a couple months of closing a deal, “ she said.
“That gives me a lot of confidence that RDA Hills Group will continue to grow and prosper; the community supports what RDA stands for.”
Ms Warnock said the new centre would allow the group to first double then later triple in size to allow more children with special needs to develop theirs skills and confidence.
Of the riding school’s 41 volunteers, 11 are under 18 years of age.
The riding school invited Swan Hills MLA Frank Alban to a morning tea after the workshop in a show of appreciation for his continuing support.
“We wanted to thank him for the extraordinary work he has done on our behalf to secure land for a new riding centre,” Ms Warnock said.
“We know Mr Alban will continue to help us when we go searching for money and materials to build new stables and arenas.”
Mr Alban said he became involved in the RDA through his wife and daughter’s involvement with horses.
“I have enjoyed being part of the RDA community and the remarkable service they provide for our disabled riders,” he said.
“High on a horse’s back you feel like a Queen or King or a Knight at least, the confidence and smiles tell the rest of the story.”