OUR PROGRAM ATHLETES
Road to Recovery Equine Assisted Therapy
Bex had a Brain Stem Stroke in 2019 and is on her road to recovery with the help of our Equestrian friends both human and equine alongside regular physio and hydrotherapy sessions.
Before her stroke Bex was an accomplished horse rider, played violin for the Cheltenham Philharmonic Orchestra, played piano, held a number of volunteer roles with animal charities and the elderly too. She loved to cook too and travelling to France with her family for holidays.
Life for Bex changed vastly following the stroke and she now has no controlled movement (motor function) in her body apart from her left eye which she uses to communicate with. She does though have full sensation and an incredible sense of humour and infectious laugh.
We adore working with Bex as her spirit is not diminished and we have already seen some amazing physical improvement from her mechanical horse sessions with our friends at the Cavalier Centre and there is so much more to come as we move forward together. Bex is an inspiration to us all.
Our horses love working with Bex too and they are exceptionally gentle with her.
Grade 1 3* Para Dressage
I am a Grade 1 para dressage rider. I was diagnosed with Friedrich’s Ataxia in 2012 shortly before the London Paralympics. I began riding with the RDA in 2013. Since moving into BD competitions in 2015 I have been very lucky to be partnered by some amazing ponies who have helped me move up to Gold level nationally and to 3* international competition. Since my main diagnosis in 2012 my condition has progressed and I am now also deaf/blind. Friedrich’s is an ever changing condition and we have had to adapt to the challenges it brings us. We have been limited in competitive opportunities during the pandemic and I am looking forward to getting out competing regularly again with my ponies.
Grade 2 Para Dressage
When I was 7 my mum took me to RDA sessions as therapy to help me with my cerebral palsy which affects both my legs and to a lesser extent my arms and hands.
I never like to be thought of as being different and riding makes me feel confident, independent and like I don’t have a disability.
Grade 1 Para Dressage
In 2008, while working on a beach I sustained a traumatic spinal injury, which resulted in me being diagnosed as a C5 tetraplegic incomplete. My injury impacts my whole body from my neck down. With a BA in Applied Sports Science and Coaching with Outdoor Adventure, I have an interest in all things therapy related. In 2014, while on holiday I asked if I could sit on a horse, Severnvale Equestrian Centre said 'yes'. And this is where my equestrian journey began. In October 2018, Seran became part of our family. I never imagined it would be possible that we could become RDA Grade 1 National Champions 2019 and be presented with our awards by Di Green. I'm excited and so looking forward to our venture into Para Dressage and beyond with Di mentoring us.
Grade 3 Para Dressage
I am a grade 3 para dressage rider based in Dorset. I have left sided hemiplegic cerebral palsy and nystagmus, a visual impairment. I started riding age 8 with the RDA as therapy, after sitting on my cousin's horse and getting the bug! My dream of competing really kicked off after being in the stands at London 2012 Paralympics.
“I’ve been riding for 18 years, but only as a para rider for the last 2 years! I unfortunately sustained a head injury from a nasty fall, which lead to me being diagnosed with a neurological disorder called Dystonia. This affects controlled movement and muscle tone, leading to involuntary spasms and hypertonia in my limbs and core. My balance and coordination is also affected, and I ride mainly in walk, with a small amount of trot work. I am currently going through the Classification process to enable me to compete in affiliated Para British Dressage competitions.
Grade 3 Para Dressage & Showjumping
"When I was 18 I finished my A-levels and I was packing up to go to uni in the summer of 2010 but I had a major stroke.
I was very bored and missed all the sports I had previously enjoyed but then I found RDA.
Riding a horse felt like freedom! Early on I was a little nervous and had two side walkers, gradually walk becomes trot, and finally canter! Now I am confident enough to jump and ride sidesaddle sometimes.
Grade 3 Para Dressage
I rode as a child and rediscovered my passion for it when I went to my local RDA Group to help me with my chronic pain. I am left leg amputee with scoliosis of the spine, congenital hip dysplasia and chronic pain. It was whilst I was with my local RDA that someone suggested Dressage and 4 years on I became Grade 3 Bronze Champion 2020. My goal has to be the Paralympics and the support of the foundation will further my chance of achieving that dream to be an international rider.