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Tales from the RDA Champs: ‘Riding horses makes me more confident in everyday life and proud of what I can achieve’

Riding for the Disabled (RDA) rider Lindsey Green (33) was the first representative from the Helen Atkin RDA group to compete at the RDA National Championships (13-15 July at Hartpury, Gloucestershire) since the group’s inception 30 years ago.

Buxton based Lindsey, who has learning difficulties, qualified for the RDA’s grassroots competition — The Countryside Challenge — back in May. The challenge consists of an obstacle course, which simulates a hack in the countryside and tests the rider’s control and accuracy. It includes riding under an arch, over a bridge, picking apples off a tree and riding round a duck pond. What made the event even more challenging for Lindsey was the fact that she had to ride an unfamiliar horse, as her RDA pony was unable to travel to the championships.

“I had one session with “Hercules” at another RDA centre a few weeks ago to get familiar with him, but I haven’t ridden him other than that. We don’t get a lot of time to get used to them and I do feel nervous, but it’s a great challenge,” explained Lindsey who has attended the Helen Atkin RDA group for 10 years. “I have someone walk alongside me in case I need assistance, but otherwise, I have to control the horse by myself. It’s my first time ever competing at a championship show and I just wanted to do really well.”

Lindsey with Hercules and her rosette

Lindsey and Hercules completed their Countryside Challenge and came second with a score of 72.25%.

“I go to the centre once a week for a riding lesson and I love it. I’ve always loved horses and enjoy spending time with them and riding,” added Lindsey who was accompanied to the championships with a loyal and very excited crew from the Helen Atkin RDA group. “Riding horses makes me more confident in everyday life and proud of what I can achieve.”

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The group are celebrating a double whammy as they have recently raised £90,000 to have an indoor arena built, enabling them to expand and offer carriage driving and showjumping to their clients as well as hold evening and winter events, something they haven’t been able to do previously.
For more information, visit www.helenatkinrda.org.uk

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