Our Latest News
Becoming an RDA Volunteer
All of those involved with Riding for the Disabled are volunteers who give their time because they believe it is such a worthwhile activity. Any lingering doubt in the mind of a newcomer is soon dispelled when they see the look of joy and pleasure on the faces of the young riders on Thursday mornings. It is not necessary to commit to come down to Happy Valley every week as our Roster Coordinator will fit you in whenever you can spare the time. Whatever your position, be it service-person, dependent, civilian or expatriate, if you are interested and would like to contribute to this useful and enjoyable work, please come along and you will be made welcome by the group.
The rides take place during local school term time. Episkopi Saddle Club is to be found within Happy Valley on the B6, old Paphos to Limassol Road, between Episkopi Village and Paramali Village. As the facilities are all outdoors we do not ride in wet weather.
There are three catagories of Volunteer and we are always in need of new members. Fun training days are given, and new members go through a process of ‘shadowing’ experienced Volunteers.
Two Helpers are needed for each pony, and experience with horses is not essential. They walk alongside the pony to make sure the rider, who is their sole concern, has a safe and enjoyable ride. Helpers arrive at the Saddle Club at 08.15 in order to be assigned their pony for the morning, and to be ready for the first of the three rides. As riders arrive the Helpers assist them out of their transport, help them put on riding hats and prepare them for the ride. Once the rider is mounted, one Helper walks on each side of the pony. Helpers also assist with cleaning the tack after the final ride.
Leaders need to have experience with horses. They arrive at the Saddle Club at 07.45, and are assigned to a pony. Leaders then bring in their pony, tack them up and lead the pony, which is their main responsibility, for each of the three rides. After the final ride the Leaders untack their ponies and put them away.
The Instructor is in overall charge of the rides and will arrive at 07.30 to plan the sessions, including the various exercises and games for the riders to participate in. They will then allocate Volunteers to ponies and organize mounting & dismounting. Instructors are highly experienced with horses and are familiar with RDA procedures. It is the Instructors role to ensure overall safety for the three sessions, as well as an enjoyable and therapeutic ride for all the riders.
Like to join us?
If you would like to become a Volunteer, you can contact us via email or phone (see the ‘Contact RDA (Episkopi)’ page for details). You are also welcome to come along to see us and watch the rides. Our Volunteers meet in the Nags Head clubhouse after the rides at about 10.15, which would be a perfect opportunity to come along for a chat. If the weather is not too good it is best to phone first to make sure the rides are taking place on that day.