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Balancing act . . . Timaru RDA rider Halle Wellford and pony Legend try some balancing exercises at the group's Landsborough Rd site. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

by Greta Yeoman

Timaru’s Riding for the Disabled Association is looking for more volunteers.

President and coach Wendy Marr said the Timaru group, which holds sessions on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, was looking for extra support across a range of roles.

Volunteers did not needed to be “horsey” people, as roles ranged from maintenance and repair work, through to pasture management, gardening, administration and fundraising support, she said.

Those who did want to work with horses could help lead horses during sessions, groom and tack them up or “side-walk” for riders who needed a spotter in case of a fall, she said.

The RDA group is based at 36 Landsborough Rd, off Coonoor Rd.

The organisation will host a training day for new volunteers on February 1, starting at 10am.

Riding time . . . Timaru RDA rider Logan Scott-Walton (left), on Dove, is supported by coach and Timaru group president Wendy Marr. PHOTO: SUPPLIED

Mrs Marr said while the organisation – like many other groups – had a larger volunteer base than in previous years, those volunteers were often unable to give quite as much time because of work and other commitments. New volunteers were welcome and she appreciated any time and abilities they could offer.

“If someone comes along later [to a session], that’s OK.”

The Timaru group had a waiting list for riders, so if more people became volunteers there was the potential to run an extra session on another day, Mrs Marr said.

At present the organisation holds sessions on Tuesday mornings and afternoons, Wednesday mornings and Friday mornings.

She encouraged interested residents to get in touch with the organisation as it was “very satisfying” work, the benefits of rider interactions with the horses – even when not in the saddle – being clear to see.

“Interacting with horses .. achieves results in a variety of ways.

“You are making a difference.”

The RDA sessions start for the year on February 11.

For more information on the Timaru Riding for the Disabled Association, email timarurda@gmail.com or phone Mrs Marr on (03) 688-2402.