I've been thinking for a long time that Justin, the black 2yo Fell, would make a fantastic Riding for the Disabled pony as everything about him - build, temperament, breed, height, weight carrying ability, docility, ability to calm himself down in an instant, even at his young age, and his sensible, laid back attitude to everything - it's all too good to miss and I think he's exceptional.
I've decided that if I would like to try and keep him for the 3 years plus it will take to train him to be a safe, reliable RDA pony and I hope that the very special person I've met might help me train him. I always used to like doing everything by myself as far as possible but I learnt last year that working together on something you care about with people you love forges very strong bonds and gives everyone involved huge amounts of satisfaction when it's for a cause they believe in.
Last year that cause was me. Now I have a huge need to do something for people less fortunate than I am and give something back.
The RDA group I helped with last Spring, before Strangles put a stop to my going, was the life's work of someone David and I knew well - Trina Hall. She taught me to ride and her dying wish was that the group should survive her early death. One of the main people who ensured that it did was one of David's partners in a two family business started by their parents. She had been Trina Hall's best friend and ran her to and from the hospital throughout her illness. She has been a good friend to me too.
The ponies at the centre are mostly getting old now and they're desperate to find suitable replacements. One of their best is a Fell who is in his late twenties.
The riders at the centre inspired and humbled me by their attitude to make the most of their lives in spite of what I would regard as appalling difficulties, and the horses and their riding meant so much to all of them. My love for horses has been my saviour in the past too so I know how important they can be and the difference they can make to people's lives.
I can't provide them with a suitable horse immediately but hopefully in a few years time I can provide them with an ideal pony, trained and ready for the job.
Here he is, Justin, the future RDA superstar!!! I think I might start a new blog about his training.
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