Ebony’s Blog: Life at The Shelley Centre

Extraordinary times indeed! The Shelley Centre is closed for the foreseeable future and there is no therapeutic work being carried out up here. We feel very sad. Knowing that all my readers are in the same situation makes me wonder what on earth to write that will give your spirits a lift.

Being British-made, I’ll start with the weather. Then again that’s a bit hard for me since I live in a closed and locked room. It’s not too bad because there’s only me and BABS; we don’t have to look after anybody else, we don’t need to entertain ourselves all day and we don’t quarrel. We just switch off. So I’m worrying about my vulnerable riders and their carers. Are their care packages holding up? What if the main carer falls sick? What do feisty teenage riders do when they can’t go out at all? Does everybody understand why he/she is in lock down?

Our live herd is oblivious to these questions of course, loving the warmth of the sun, the drying up of the mud and the sweet spring grass. Lyn, their mum, is having to ration all the smaller ponies lest they over indulge themselves. Her team of able bodied riders is somehow managing to keep them all fit and healthy, ready for when our work can start up once more.

Luckily one of my riders, Rebecca Jackaman, passed her Gold level Horse Care test and was presented with her certificate by Sue Diggins just before we had to close. This is a big achievement and takes time and hard work to learn all the details required for a pass. Many congratulations Rebecca, I’m so proud of you.

One sad casualty from this virus has been the cancellation of a visit by HRH The Princess Royal, who had kindly scheduled a visit to us in April. Reluctantly, she, who never lets any body down, had to obey orders from the government this time. We were all so looking forward to her arrival: she would have been presenting certificates to those of our riders who have been with us for our 30 years. Naturally I was planning to show her what my riders can do, bet she would have loved that!

You will have heard that our fundraising activities have come to a grinding halt. We shall be feeling the pinch, just like all the other charities out there. If any readers would like to support us with a little donation we should be immensely grateful. The centre plans to reopen as soon as we are allowed to, but meanwhile here’s hoping our family of riders and volunteers stays safe and well. God bless you all.

www.shelleyrda.com / 01473 824172

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