Ebony’s Blog: Life at The Shelley Centre

Well, here we are again, and no getting back to our normal for another three months!

While our umbrella organisation has come up with a cunning plan for riders to start getting back in the saddle, they are unfortunately deemed unworkable here. With our client base and our special volunteer army, the logistics of keeping a two meter distance become crazy and unsafe. Then there is the business of disinfecting tack between each rider, having more hand washing places, and using a rider’s main carer to do the side walking with them. We know a few of our parents/carers wouldn’t mind, but there are those who feel very nervous of horses. The majority of our volunteers are in the risky age group, or have family members who are equally vulnerable, so at present it’s a regrettable no. However, the RDA is busy keeping our riders engaged. The RDA website has plenty of downloadable material for riders, courses and competitions.

If you want something to smile about, watch the film of our members doing hobby horse Dressage on YouTube. RDA national ran a dressage competition for people using hobby-horses; they were filmed in their own gardens, driveways, bedrooms and fields. Some dressed up very smartly indeed, a la the real event. They paid an entry fee, begged sponsorship and amazingly raised almost £2,000. Coupled with the auction of the smartest ever hobby horse, Valegro II (pictured), a one legged replica of Charlotte Dujardin’s famous Olympian winner (pictured together), they sent nearly £4,000 to the NHS Charities Together COVID-19 appeal. What a brilliant effort.

Our life here continues very happily. We are well looked after, the weather is lovely and the country is looking fantastic. Best of all, our water buckets are kept filled up by the team. So guess what we’ll be saying soon? The grass is looking a bit sparse and the 10 members of the herd outside will be asking for rain to green it up again. Can’t win!

Stay safe our humans. We shall get back to work eventually.

www.shelleyrda.com / 01473 824172

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