In partnership with the British Equestrian Federation, the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme with the aim of getting more Disabled people to participate in riding. This project is being funded by Sport England through the British Equestrian Federation.
One organisation that is hoping to help more Disabled riders achieve their dreams with the help of Accessibility Mark is Foxhills Riding Centre based in Bar Beacon, Walsall.
Foxhills Riding Centre was established over 50 years ago and has some of the best riding facilities in the area. They were already teaching a number of Disabled riders but the introduction of the indoor arena gives them scope to cater for a larger number of Disabled riders in a safe environment, all year round and regardless of the weather.
Owner, David Blake, understands the benefit that horses can bring to people with both physical and learning difficulties as his own son has special educational needs. The enthusiasm of his fantastic staff was also fundamental in his decision to apply for Accessibility Mark accreditation.
“When we expanded our facilities to include the indoor arena, we realised that we had a lot to offer and it seemed the sensible decision to apply for the Accessibility Mark accreditation.
“Members of staff here are so passionate about what they do in helping riders achieve their goals. The training carried out by the Accessibility Support Officer (ASO) was incredibly helpful and we were all enlightened by the session.”
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 to riders of varying levels of disability.
For more information about Foxhills Riding Centre call 0121 360 9160 or visit www.mygg.co.uk
There are currently 55 Accessibility Mark-approved centres across the country.