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04 November 2021IF YOU CANNOT MAKE A RIDING/VAUTLING SESSION

The group has a new mobile phone number. If any helpers, riders or vaulters are unable to attend their session could you please now contact the group on 07942 358115

Please leave a voicemail mail if there is no one available to answer the phone & messages will be checked before each session. 

Thank you.

-- 
Sharon Baker
Secretary, Berwickshire Group RDA
http://www.berwickshirerda.org.uk/
Help support us:
https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/rdaberwickkshire

25 October 2021PARTICIPANT'S PROFILES (New)

NAME: Carline Arthur

 

How long have you been a Involved with RDA?  Its probably about 6 years, I am not too sure, better check with Margaret. 

 

And how did you become involved?  My sister in New Zealand emailed Margaret. 

 

What do you enjoy most about being with the RDA?  Horses, being around them and being able to ride them. Oh yeah and the people are great too!!!!

 

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?  Every time I go is the best thing. 

 

Who is your Favorite horse / horses?  I have to say Bart as I have ridden him the most but I do like trying out other horses. 

 

Away from RDA, how are you dealing with the restrictions caused by the pandemic?  It was difficult not being able to visit my parents, my dad is not a well man so this made it especially hard.  But we are so lucky to have the technology to facetime etc.

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NAME: Neil McMurdo

How long have you been a Involved with RDA?

I first rode with the RDA Group at Etal around 1970.  I started riding with Berwickshire RDA in 2011

And how did you become involved?

In late 2011, Having been made redundant and finding my mobility failing, I thought getting back to riding would help me.  The result being that after a break of around 30 years, I was back on a horse.

I was invited to join the Tuesday evening ride and soon got going again.   Margaret Morgan soon picked up that I would benefit from riding without stirrups, which allowed me to stretch my legs as well as concentrate on balance.  I also used a ‘bar’ on the reins making it so much easier to use one hand, whilst my right hand was accommodated holding onto a strap.

I also took the role of Rider’s trustee and held this until I took the role of treasurer on the Edinburgh & Borders region RDA and assisted inn various fundraising activities.

What do you enjoy most about being with the RDA?

When I was riding ‘Real Horses’ I used to drive to the sessions wondering what we would be quizzed on that night.  I found this a nice challenge in addition to riding.   If I am being honest, I do miss riding Bart.  He was so responsive to my using that bar rein. Of late I have been riding Sandy (My decision).  Recently I even had a canter!  Riding with what is on the screen in front of me is good and the movement gives me exercise.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

Riding wise, I got back into what I did many years ago.  I often wonder if I ought to have followed my fellow riders down the dressage route.  RDA also gave me the opportunity to meet the Princess Royal on two occasions which was very nice and added to my meeting other Royal members. AS mentioned previously I was also given the chance to be the riders Trustee, which I really enjoyed and felt as if I was contributing to the group.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses?

I have been privileged to have ridden quite a few horses in my time with the Berwickshire RDA.  If I had to pick one, it would be Bart Simpson.  He works so well with the bar rein and also rides, going forward, very freely.  In Sandy’s favour, he does not have unscheduled ‘Poo’ breaks

Away from RDA, how are you dealing with the restrictions caused by the pandemic?

I have found 2021 easier than 2020.  In 2020, we did not travel far whilst this year we have managed to have two 3 day beaks away from home.  Since March 2020 I have not been driving which has been hard to adapt to.

Name: Sheena Parker

How long have you been a Involved with RDA?

I think I've been riding up at the Berwickshire Group RDA for about 7-8years.

And how did you become involved?

My doctor encouraged me to contact Margaret. I was so nervous to do so it took me another year before I actually emailed Margaret. 

What do you enjoy most about being with the RDA?

The horses are amazing. I love them so much. The touch , the sound, the look  the smell and the connection you get between yourself and your horse.  All the people around are just like family.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

Qualifying to go to the Nationals at Hartpury.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses?

 Torfy was always my favourite.  I rode him for six years , he looked after me so well. I miss him so much.  Hopefully Rio and I will be able to bond like that too.

Away from RDA, how are you dealing with the restrictions caused by the pandemic?

I've struggled with all the restrictions of the past two years. Not being able to meet up with my family and missing out on seeing the horses was hard. Going to the Horses always helps me physically and mentally.  

 

 

21 October 2021CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS

 Christmas Holidays

Riding will finish for Christmas on;

Monday 13th December

Tuesday 14th December

Wednesday 15th December

Thursday 16th December

Friday 17th December

Riding in 2022 will restart on;

Monday 17th January

Tuesday 18th January

Wednesday 19th January

Thursday 20th January

Friday 21st January

 

Just to let everyone know there will be no RDA Riding for the Half Term week begining on Monday 11th October.

Riding will re start on Tuesday19th October.

Yours Margaret

20 October 2021VOLUNTEER POFILES ?(re-visited)

With the Pandemic still affecting us all, we thought we would bring these to the fore once more

As all of the Group's Horses have now beeen 'profilied', we now turn to our wonderful volunteers.  Below are profiles of SOME of the many who give up their time to help in our group

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Anna

How long have you been a Volunteer?

About fifteen years – initially helping on Wednesday mornings and latterly giving the horses some radionic help with their individual emotional and physical needs

Why did you volunteer?

It is such a good way of giving something back for the pleasure we have all derived from riding ourselves and a bit of radionic help just came naturally as I got to know some of the horses individually

Who is your Favorite horse / horses?

Sherman was such a lovely kind horse who had undoubtedly not always been so well cared for as he was at Sunnyside and was a classic example of how a hairy coloured cobby type is rarely given credit for having emotional needs  - Major was another wonderful old soldier who flourished under Margaret’s care

What do you enjoy most about being a helper?

The camaraderie between helpers and riders and the often really subtle gestures that move you to tears like a mute rider kissing their horse on the nose after a ride and the insight that radionics gives into the horses gratitude for being so well tended for their last few years

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

It has all been a wonderful learning curve

How are you dealing with lockdown?

Very happily !

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Name: Ann

How long have you been a VolunteerTwo and a half year

Why did you volunteer?

Many years ago I had the privilege of working for an organisation which cared for disabled children, both mentally and physically and I also helped out at the nearby RDA.  Horses have been and still are a huge part of our family and to watch the children at RDA develop and enjoy their riding is wonderful.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses?

Pitu – I have not met many of the other horses but Pitu makes me smile, he does his job and just gets on with it.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper?

Obviously the children and seeing them improve their vaulting and have fun at the same time.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

The Nativity is always very special but also to watch a rider smile when he or she masters a new vaulting position and gains in confidence.

How are you dealing with lockdown?

Walking the dog in our beautiful countryside is a feel good factor, reading, Sudoku etc. and even mucking out stables if required.

 

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Charlotte

How long have you been a Volunteer?- 4 and a half years.

Why did you volunteer?- I enjoy helping make a difference to other people’s life’s, and meeting new friends.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses?- My favorite horse is Torfy.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper? - Building relationships with the riders and helpers, and also getting to be apart of a amazing group of people.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA? - Meeting Princess Anne and doing the fun activities at Christmas and Easter.

How are you dealing with lockdown?- I have dealt with lockdown quite well. I kept occupied by walking the dog and painting the house.

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Claire

How long have you been a Volunteer

I think around 12 years.

Why did you volunteer?   I was looking to gain more experience as a vaulting coach so came along to help out at Berwickshire RDA to learn more and just ended up staying. I get a lot of satisfaction from being at the Monday vaulting sessions, even in the freezing winter.

Who is your favourite horse / horses

All the horses are lovely in their own unique quirky ways. Couple to note are Big Guiness a big gentle giant with the vaulters and a canter that even the tiniest person could sit with. Pitu who makes the lunger work hard for a canter but can pull it out for you when needed.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper

Seeing the improvements, small though they maybe, with the vaulters I work with. If a vaulter is struggling to learn or do something I enjoy coming up with different strategies/ways to help the vaulters accomplish it.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

One of the best things was taking the things I had learnt about being an RDA vaulting coach out to Australia and sharing it with some of the clubs there. With the Toowoomba RDA centre we managed to put together a vaulting display that we did at the Toowoomba Agriculture Show (Highland Show in size) in the bull riding arena. 

How are you dealing with lockdown?

To be honest my day to day life has not changed much with lockdown in part due to living in the countryside. I have enjoyed having a slower pace to life and not having to rush around quite so much.

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Claudia

How long have you been a Volunteer? Margaret tells me I began in 1997

Why did you volunteer?  because Margaret asked me! This was back “in the old days” when we worked outside. It was very weather dependant, the riders were sitting on a bench in the field waiting for their turn. Margaret would often phone round all the helpers on a Wednesday morning and say we would have to cancel because it was raining!

Who is your Favorite horse / horses? It is impossible to have a favourite. There have been lots of different horses and ponies over the years. We are very lucky as a group to work with quality horses who all do other jobs too which I am sure keeps them happy. It never ceases to impress me how well they handle their RDA work.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper? I always go home after an RDA session in a better place than when I arrive…it is very rewarding seeing riders progress in confidence and do things on a horse that they perhaps thought they would not be able to do. And the riders love it, you can see that as soon as they are mounted. You also see volunteers grow in confidence too.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA? I can’t immediately think of an answer to this, but one of the worst (funny now) times was at a dressage competition at The Drum one May when Guinness, who was having a graze, decided he wanted to join his mates and dragged me about 200 yards towards the arenas at some speed. Massive relief when he stopped and I still was holding on to him and we hadn’t caused mayhem!

How are you dealing with lockdown? I can honestly say I have enjoyed it. We spend our lives rushing around and it has been great to slow down a bit and I have spent the time working from home, gardening and cycling. My dog is loving it too though this may all change when our lives are turned upside-down shortly with the arrival of a puppy….

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Deb

How long have you been a Volunteer: 7 Years

Why did you volunteer: I joined RDA after falling off my own horse and having to gain my confidence I went to Ian Starks for lessons. While there, there was a group of children and one little girl took a shine to me and that made me think that I would love to join the RDA

Who is your Favorite horse / horses: Pitu

What do you enjoy most about being a helper?: I enjoy most the satisfaction I get from seeing the children enjoying themselves

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?: The best I have done is the Christmas shows

How are you dealing with lockdown?: Lockdown has been fine, have enjoyed doing lots of walking with my dog Flint

 

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Fiona

How long have you been a Group Volunteer?     Started 1994 so 25 years

Why did you volunteer?

I rode peoples ponies as a child, went on to get married and had children of my own and when the youngest went to school, I had spare time again! Started helping Johanna Wright at Buskin where she had children from Duns Primary School and Berwickshire High School on a Thursday morning. The bonus was I got to ride afterwards.  I really enjoyed helping these children.   The real answer is to the question is my love of horses.

What is your favorite horse / horses?

Got to say my favorite was a pony called Dexter, a 14.1 hh Strawberry roan, a very naughty pony but perfect with RDA and I have also got to really like Pitu as he has shown / taught me so much about lunging.

What you enjoy most about being a helper?

It’s the little things that I enjoy, like that breakthrough moment, when the rider/vaulter actually gets what you are trying to teach, and just does it.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

Best thing I have done….gosh that’s a hard one. I suppose getting to meet the Princess Royal three times must be up there.

How you are dealing with lock down?

Lockdown hasn’t been easy, although I have been working some of it. Not seeing my Mum was hard, at least I got to wave at the Grandkids in their garden. Having my Husband at home for 9 weeks, 24/7 wasn’t easy either, especially as we couldn’t go away for days out.

Having my dogs was a godsend though, they are looking like Whippets now, sadly I’m not LOL

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Gillian

How long have you been a Volunteer?: 5 years

Why did you volunteer?:    I had recently moved to the area from Cheshire, with a career in the care sector specializing in rehab I was looking for opportunities to volunteer in an activity that tied in with that and would help me meet people, also the chance to work with horses was something I had wanted to do for many years

Who is your Favorite horse / horse?:  My first favorite was Dalton he gave me confidence in horse care and I found him easy to work with, he was so special. Now I love working with Torphy

What do you enjoy most about being a helper?:    The feeling of excitement when one of the riders manages a new skill and seeing their physical and mental wellbeing improve over time

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?:  Meeting Princess Anne was very special, but its seeing the tiny improvements in ride?:  I found lockdown a time to reevaluate, we made a great effort to join groups and meet people after moving to the area, it has given us time to work out what we really want to do with our time, but being so far from family has been really hard

 

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Henry

How long have you been a Volunteer?

I started when I was in S6 at School so 2 years

Why did you volunteer?

It was as part of the saltire volunteering scheme and it was the obvious way for me to be able to acquire lots of hours close to home

Who is your Favorite horse / horses?

Bart Simpson is my favorite horse on the place and Shamus as well

What do you enjoy most about being a helper?

I volunteer with the vaulters so for me it's a chance to pass on any knowledge I have acquired to the next generation

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

Attending the formal opening of the Sandy's stable when Princess Ann came to Sunnyside

How are you dealing with lockdown?

Through lockdown the weather was exceptional so we were lucky to have all the space outside

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Janice

How long have you been a Volunteer:  20 years

Why did you volunteer: Love of horses and Johanna Wright encouraged me to join the group

Who is your Favorite horse / horses:  Bart Simpson

What do you enjoy most about being a helper: The satisfaction of working with horses and the pleasure it can give some riders

What is the best thing you have done with RDA: Meeting Princess Anne (twice_ and winning the RDA Volunteer of the Year award but most of all working with my partner in crime, Alice

How are you dealing with lockdown:  Picked up my cross stitch that I started in 1981 (21st present) aim to finish it this year.  Got a great tan so far!

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Jenny

How long have you been a Volunteer:  9 years in October

Why did you volunteer:   Originally for Duke of Edinburgh

Who is your Favorite horse / horses:  I Think it has to be Torfy 

What do you enjoy most about being a helper:

Getting to see everyone and the horses every week and helping people enjoy themselves.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA:

I've met some of the nicest people and have made great memories. Becoming a coach is also something I'd never thought I'd be able to do

How are you dealing with lockdown:

I started painting in lockdown and baked a lot of cakes! 

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Jill

How long have you been a Volunteer: About 4 years

Why did you volunteer: A love of horses and a desire to be able help people in some way.  I had been aware of the RDA and my Aunt had been involved for many years over near Selkirk.  The RDA does amazing work for communities and I was keen to find out how I could be involved.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses: Pitu.  I love the fact that a classy dressage horse can adapt into a new role within the RDA.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper: I had assumed that RDA was always riding; I had no idea that vaulting existed.  I take great enjoyment through seeing the children achieve in their own special way and time frame.  It’s heart warming to experience the buzz they get out of being with and on the horse - the way horses and humans have an intuitive way of bonding and responding to each other in the moment.  It is also a great privilege to work with the other volunteers and coaches.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA: I have to say, I enjoy a nativity play.  It is hard to believe that it will come together as, often children are practising their parts independently of other groups, before the actual show day.  Also, the costumes appear and assist in transforming the vaulters into their role.  On the day of the performance it just comes together and they all shine.  The audience are always surprised at the skills demonstrated by the vaulters.  There is something very special about seeing the vaulters doing their routines and working with others to do great things.

How are you dealing with lockdown: I feel very lucky to live remotely in Berwickshire.  Living on a farm was a blessing when our young family was off school.  Having the space and freedom around you to be able to explore in the fresh air was great.  Other activities that I try to incorporate are running, yoga and meditation.

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Josie

How long have you been a Volunteer - Just over a year.

Why did you volunteer - For my Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses - Seamus, I have in the past enjoyed vaulting on him.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper - Leading the horses round and seeing the riders enjoy themselves.

How are you dealing with lockdown - My life hasn’t been changed much by lockdown as I live on a farm and am home-schooled. Due to lockdown I have been doing a skype workout three times a week with a friend.

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Joyce

 

How long have you been a Volunteer:

Approx 2 years with Berwickshire and formerly seven years with the Gordon Group (Aberdeenshire)

Why did you volunteer:

Having enjoyed the privilege of riding throughout my life I wanted to assist others to enjoy it too, in spite of their difficulties and handicaps.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses:

Hard to say - I’ve mostly helped with Rio and Torfy and would find it difficult to favour one over the other.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper:

Seeing riders progress and enjoy their riding and observing them enjoying a different perspective.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA:

Assisting with the musical rides.

How are you dealing with lockdown:

Walking and getting to know our rescue dog who we got justbefore lockdown started. Eating far too much of my husband’s cooking and baking efforts and generally appreciating living in the country away from the worst effects of the pandemic

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Jude

 

How long have you been a Volunteer:
I originally started at Muirfield around 2004 but out for a drive one day I seen the RDA sign at the end of the farm road & emailed Margaret about volunteering & have been with Berwickshire Group for around 13 yrs

Why did you volunteer:

I love horses.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses

They are all special but my favourite will always be Guiness,  Pitu is running a very close second though

What do you enjoy most about being a helper


Spending time with the horses has to be the best bit but also watching the riders improve every week & grow in confidence.


I especially love the Christmas Nativity , the reactions from the people who come to watch, when they see what the kids can do is amazing.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA


Last year (2019) I was able to go to the National Championships for the first time & watch our riders & vaulter compete.  I was very proud to be there with them having seen how hard they worked to qualify.

How are you dealing with lockdown


Lockdown for me hasn’t been much different,  I’ve been working as normal throughout, my shopping habit has had to be transferred totally online though.

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Kathy

How long have you been a Volunteer  -  Since Autumn 2019 Wednesday a.m., and several years ago on a Tuesday night.

Why did you volunteer  -  RDA is a great cause, and I enjoy the interaction with horses/people.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses  -  I don’t really have a favourite, they are all characters in their own right and generally behave so well.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper  -  Seeing a smiling, happy rider when their ride has gone well.  Helping them make small improvements week on week, and gain in confidence.     

What is the best thing you have done with RDA  -  As above really.

How are you dealing with lockdown  -  It’s had a few highs & lows, but generally I’ve been lucky to have plenty to keep me busy.  Living in the country makes it easier to isolate, but with plenty around to do and see.  Most of my work is now done electronically from home, which has reduced my time commuting to clients' farms.  And I have discovered ‘home deliveries’!

 

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Linda

How long have you been a Volunteer:  Since 1998

Why did you volunteer:

 My neighbour, a helper had asked my daughter Ann to help out with Joanna Wrights group. When Ann moved to take up her job, Susan persuaded me to help – just for three weeks!  Although Ann had owned a pony for a couple of years, I had little to do with him, being a townie.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses:

As “my” group was primary aged, the animals were smaller than the horses of today.  Baloo was with us for many years and Delicat was a gentleman.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper:

I like to see the riders getting pleasure from their rides but it is also exercise for me and its great meeting the other helpers weekly.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA:

All the preparations for the official opening of the arena by Princess Anne followed by the big day.

How are you dealing with lockdown:

As a retiree, it hasn’t felt that different. With the great weather I have been working in the garden very happily.  We have learnt to slow down even more than usual and shop on line. 

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Lucy

       

How long have you been a Volunteer:

I volunteered when I was still at school and then I moved away for a number of years this included a stint as an RDA volunteer at Singapore RDA. I have been back helping in the Berwickshire group since 2009

Why did you volunteer:

RDA was a big part of our lives growing up and as I moved home it was nice to come back to help

Who is your Favourite horse / horses:

So many amazing horses over the years and often recently I have been involved in starting them in their RDA careers. I think 2 that stand out for me are Delikat and Dalton both big characters! Would be very hard to choose at the moment they are all very good boys

What do you enjoy most about being a helper:

I really enjoy seeing the progress made by the riders and vaulters and working out how changing or doing something differently for each individual can make a big difference

What is the best thing you have done with RDA:

I enjoyed attending RDA national championships and meeting Princess Ann was amazing. I have also been involved with RDA ASDAN projects over the years which have been interesting especially to see how other groups in the UK work and do things

How are you dealing with lockdown:

We have been very lucky things haven’t changed too much, we did our lambing at the beginning of lockdown! Otherwise spent lots of time in the garden with the dogs

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Lynn

How long have you been a Group Volunteer :

I’ve been coming to Sunnyside for 15 years, initially through work, then volunteering when I retired

Why did you volunteer:

It Can be challenging but rewards are amazing when you see how much enjoyment and confidence our riders and vaulters gain through interaction with the horses.

The volunteers all work well together and support each other

What is your favorite horse / horses:

All the horses are amazing and I don’t really have any favorites as such, though I have vivid memories of being dragged around the arena by Sherman and Caffrys, both of whom managed to look so angelic while doing it.

What you enjoy most about being a helper?

Seeing the progress of riders and vaulters

What is the best thing you have done with RDA:

One of them is probably receiving the Edinburgh and Borders Region 2019 Volunteer of the Year from The Princess Royal.

How you are dealing with lock down:

Shielding my husband and walking my dogs and just getting through each day

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Margaret

I started on a Wednesday Morning with Berwickshire Group in April 1985

The first week I took a neighbour, the next week my horse Rosco, and the third week added Tinto the girl’s pony, and by October I was Group Coach as the existing coaches had moved on.

Why did you volunteer

Lucy and Rebecca were both at school and I had some spare time and thought I might be of some help, little did I know then that RDA would take over my life

Who is your Favourite horse / horses

I have known over 150 horses who have helped the Group and they have all been stars in their own way

The one I still miss is Buster, he was a grey 13.2hh Welsh/ Arab cross and could be very naughty but he never put a foot wrong doing RDA.

Horses are extraordinary animals and accept our riders and equipment with great aplomb and often the ones you expect least from turn into the stars

What do you enjoy most about being a helper

Meeting like minded people from all over the UK and beyond all doing the same job in so many different ways and seeing riders and vaulters progress and develop way beyond everyone’s expectations. As a Group we have been lucky to have so many knowledgeable volunteers and so many people willing to learn about horses.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA

I have been lucky to do so many wonderful things with RDA

Managing to build the riding school with so much help from the Group and the local community.

Having the Princess Royal visit the Group twice has been very special.

Being the Borders County Coach for many years let me see how other Groups operated and I often came home with new ideas and how so many marvellous people helped.

Starting and running the Borders County Quiz for 20 years was also a humbling experience, finding the great wealth of knowledge our clients possessed and again the great assistance I received from so many kind helpers from all the Borders Groups.

My six years as Regional Chairman let me see just how much work goes into running the RDA organization and so many people willing to give time to this and the many wonderful staff at National Office who keep the show on the road.

For a short time, I was on the Education Committee and this introduced me to ASDAN and how it could compliment the Grade Tests and let riders and vaulters progress.

I am proud to have been part of the first real RDA Vaulting Group in Scotland and when we started had no idea how successful it would be and as a result of this, I was Chairman of the Vaulting Committee for four years and saw vaulting develop within RDA.

It will never take over from riding but is a useful tool for many people giving them a different dimension to riding.

I love seeing our riders and vaulters take part in competitions and many have represented the Group and at the National Championships and they have done well especially in Arts & Crafts and we have many talented Volunteers who have made this possible.

How are you dealing with lock down

Like most people in the first lock down I did much cleaning and clearing of the house and we had a good summer to be outside.

This time with darker evenings it seems to drag and I look forward to it all being over so we can get back to RDA riding and vaulting

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Pat

How long have you been a Volunteer:  It must be 11 years.

Why did you volunteer: I like horses and had helped a bit with RDA down south and also wanted something to do now that I was retired.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses: At the moment it's Torfy as he obligingly lowers his head for the bridle.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper The real thrill and sense of achievement when a rider I have been working with for weeks suddenly "gets it" and does something for the first time.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA? In a masochistic way I have enjoyed the musical rides, especially the nerve-wracking display for Princess Anne. (It went perfectly!)

How are you dealing with lockdown? We are fortunate to have a garden and a variety of local walks but I really miss the social contact provided by RDA.

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Rebecca

How long have you been a Volunteer? Really since Mum Margaret Morgan got involved in RDA I used to help when I was on school holidays. But officially since 2001 I think when the group started a vaulting session.

Why did you volunteer? I was working for Jenny Leggate at the time and it fitted in that I could come along on a Monday afternoon and help with the vaulting. I love helping all the youngsters that vault and many of them have gone way and above what anyone thought an RDA vaulter was capable of

Who is your Favorite horse / horses? All the horse are amazing  My ponies used to do RDA when I was younger and it amazed me they could switch off and walk on a lead rope for RDA on a Wednesday then fly round a x –Country with me at the weekend. That theme continues I can take most the current horses to a World Championships and they come home and do an RDA session. I have had to have one favorite for RDA vaulting it would be Big Guinness :)

What do you enjoy most about being a helper? I love getting the chat from the youngsters and their little stories they all make me laugh. Watching the achievement happen over the years the biggest thrill is when we teach a vaulter to mount in canter.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA? I have been lucky to do some amazing things through RDA meeting Princess Anne at home is pretty special but the biggest thing would be going to Buckingham Palace with Mum, she is so dedicated to RDA and it was so amazing for her to be presented with something to show for all her dedication.

How are you dealing with lockdown? Lockdown has been interesting!!! Home schooling with Tamara has been fun her little school Reston have been brilliant sending challenges and work; I am lucky Tamara loves school so I happy to do whatever the teachers ask her to do. Usually at this time of year its big competition season for the vaulters so I spend lots of time travelling and staying in a lorry, so it has been strange just staying at home. The horses have carried on pretty much as normal some have been given a holiday others have worked harder  We also have 2 hound puppies who have given us endless hours of entertainment.

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Sam

How long have you been a Volunteer – 2 years possibly

Why did you volunteer – Saltire awards

Who is your Favorite horse / horses – Sandy

What do you enjoy most about being a helper – socializing

What is the best thing you have done with RDA

I would have to say being able to help with those who have additional needs

How are you dealing with lockdown – no different to normal life for me

 

Sandra

How long have you been a Volunteer?

Since 2002 as the Group is now but I also volunteered before the indoor arena when we rode at Ann & Eric Robertson’s, in Duns during the summer and in the winter at the indoor school at Westruther.

Why did you volunteer?

After talking to the late Ann Robertson one day she asked if I had some spare time and would I like to help with RDA which I did, then stopped for some years when my boys were small.

Who is your favorite horse / horses?

I cant really name a favorite horse as there have been a lot of special horses and ponies over the years.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper?

One thing springs to mind was when a rider asked Caffrys to  “ walk on”, it had taken nearly a year.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

The best thing I have done with RDA has to be meeting Princess Anne

How are you dealing with Lock Down?

Each day seems to be very much the same, although I do miss seeing my grandchildren

Now I have got the hang of it I am getting quite good at shopping on line

My dogs are getting a lot longer walks which has its advantages as I have lost weight

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Sarah M

 

How long have you been a Volunteer?

I have volunteered at RDA for about 6 years now

Why did you volunteer?

I started volunteering for my bronze DoFe in school and enjoyed it so much that I have never stopped

Who is your Favourite horse / horses?

My favourite horse would have to be Pitu because of our challenging relationship

What do you enjoy most about being a helper?

I really enjoy the social aspects of RDA and being involved with horses every week

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

The best thing I have done is in 2019 when I went to the RDA regionals. It was a great weekend away

How are you dealing with lockdown?

I have actually quite enjoyed lockdown, it’s given me a chance to catch up with my many to do lists but I’m looking forward to restarting uni again

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Sarah P

How long have you been a volunteer - Can't quite remember – more than 15, less than 20 years. (An old friend who retired from riding a few years ago came to visit and expressed astonishment that I am still here!)

Why did you volunteer?  Margaret asked me. I was having a rare de-clutter and took along some tack which had belonged to my (long deceased) shepherding pony. Most of it probably wasn't much use but I became a volunteer.

Favourite Horse – I love all the horses. Delicat was a particular favourite as he was so easy to be with. At the moment it is Rio.

What do you enjoy most?  I enjoy being with the horses and really miss them. I wil even forgive Rio for rolling when he is tied up,  when we get back to regular riding.

What is the best thing you have done? (does this mean 'good est' or most enjoyable?) I think what I have most enjoyed are the training days over at (Glasgow) Ingliston where we see experts demonstrating all aspects of RDA – dressage, vaulting, driving, western-style riding are a few I can think of.

How are you dealing with Lockdown? Brushing my hair and becoming a Domestic Goddess in between getting the garden under control (still work in progress). The house isn't any tidier  because the weather was too sunny during the first enthusiastic weeks.

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Sharon

How long have you been a Volunteer:  Since 1999

Why did you volunteer:  My neighbour, who was a volunteer, asked if I would help out as the Group was short of helpers.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses:  My absolute favourite horse has to be Big Guinness, but I have loved lots of them: Royal Dalton, Buster, Jay, Bart…..I could go on!

What do you enjoy most about being a helper: I enjoy working with our riders and vaulters, helping them achieve things they didn’t dream they were capable of.  Seeing the joy of a child cantering on the back of a big horse.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA:  I think going to the National Championships with the vaulting team has to be up there.  It is such an inspiring event to witness the efforts of so many talented riders and vaulters from all over the country.

How are you dealing with lockdown:  I have to say that it’s pretty much business as usual here, working on the farm.  For the first few weeks, we were lambing, which means a constant focus on sheep, with little time for anything else.  We self-isolate as a consequence of lambing every year!  We are lucky that one son lives and works on the farm, and another happened to be here at the time of lockdown, so has stayed to work from home here.  So I am surrounded by nearly all my immediate family which is lovely.  I do miss my twice weekly trips out with my Mum, though I am able to see her and have a conversation through a window, from a safe distance.

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Shelagh

How long have you been a Group Volunteer:   8 Years

Why did you volunteer

I joined having been introduced by Pat Rowe and also because my mother helped start the group in Aberdeen in the 70's and who always said how much the riders benefitted from the riding.

What is your favorite horse / horses?

Bart Simpson.

What you enjoy most about being a helper

Seeing the improvement that the riders achieve - and the pleasure it gives them.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA

Going to the Dressage tests in Edinburgh with Lauren and Bart. Also leading Pitu in the musical ride for Princess Anne's visit.

How you are dealing with lock down

Lots of gardening! And lovely walks in the woods and by the river.

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Sue

How long have you been a Volunteer: 1 year

Why did you volunteer  -  As I am now retired I was keen to volunteer in the community in some way.  I know how important RDA is to many people, and I also have a love of horses.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses – I honestly don’t have one yet.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper – Being with horses again,  seeing how much the riders get out of their ride and watching their progress and improvement .  Also meeting new people.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA – Joining up!

How are you dealing with lockdown – Initially lots of walking, gardening and painting. I am not usually short of something to do! We are fortunate to live in the Borders but like everyone else we have missed seeing

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Susan

How long have you been a Volunteer  Since 2002

Why did you volunteer   I had stopped working having sold the family business, our three children were all at school, so I had more time.

Who is your Favorite horse / horses  We have been very lucky to have wonderful horses over the years; going back Melody, and I always had a soft spot for Caffrys ( even if he did have a mind of his own at times), but Housten is my favorite, I have always enjoyed working with him.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper  Seeing a rider achieve something they never thought possible, the contact with the other volunteers and the horses.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA  This is a hard one, the Royal visits are memorable, the day “Sandy “ arrived - I didn’t think he would be so big; but it’s the days I drive home on a Wednesday morning, thinking, that was a really fun lesson and the riders did really well.

How are you dealing with lockdown  At the beginning many tasks – that I never seem to have time to do, got done! The garden is very tidy. But as time goes on I’m becoming more frustrated and miss my usual routine.

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Susie

How long have you been a Volunteer

Not sure! A few years at least.

Why did you volunteer?   I was very nervous of horses and Sharon suggested I volunteer in order to overcome this! I also thought it would be good to put my (retired) teacher skills to a different purpose, helping riders.

Who is your favourite horse / horses? 

I try not to have favourites, because I’ve discovered each horse has something to tell you if you can learn to listen. I’m no expert, and for sure I never will be, but I love to gradually ‘make friends’ with a horse. I want to know what makes each of them tick.

I will single out Baloo though, because he was the first I worked with. He was very patient with me and really made it all possible.

What do you enjoy most about being a helper? 

It’s such an all-round experience! I’ve learned about working with riders with a range of disabilities…it’s so rewarding when you share a moment of achievement. And I love that it’s so much “in the present moment”, experiencing, listening, watching, responding, problem solving. I love the need for teamwork…no place for ego here. And the physical presence of the horses is a real treat for me.

What is the best thing you have done with RDA?

Getting less scared of horses!

How are you dealing with lockdown?

Actually, I’ve found lockdown quite lonely. My husband needed to be extra careful, so we restricted our contacts massively, and he also suffered a shoulder injury so couldn’t join me for any exercise, so I’ve had to run and walk and cycle on my own for a long time now.

We’ve mostly been just me and him, pottering in the garden. Thank goodness for video calls!

 

27 September 20212021 National Championships Success

Well, what a weekend the Region had at the Virtual National Championships scooping up 6 class wins (in Dressage, Vaulting and Arts & Crafts), a Class Championship in Dressage, as well as picking up many other rosettes.  Congratulations  to everyone who took part and a huge thank you to the many coaches, volunteers and supporters (including those who took the many films) who made their journey possible. The full results are below:

DRESSAGE 

Class 5 - PVI Walk Only

Helen, Tweeddale – 2nd, 72.89%

Class 10 - Grade 1

Margaret, Border - 1st, 63%

CLASS 11 - Grade 2

Pamela, Ravelrig - Class Champion, 1st, 70.79%

Class 16 - 1-6 (Canter)

Jane, Border – 2nd, 70.59%

Class 18 - Introduction to Dressage (Lead Walk & Trot) Junior

Nathan, Tweeddale - 4th, 63.25%

CLASS 18 - Introduction to Dressage(Lead Walk & Trot) Senior

Naimh, Tweeddale – 1st, 69.25%

CLASS 19 (1-6 Walk Only) Senior

Barbara, Berwickshire – 2nd, 67.35%

CLASS 22 Introduction to Dressage (Led Walk Only) Junior

Emily, Berwickshire, 9th, 56.90%

CLASS 22 Introduction to Dressage (Led Walk Only) Senior

Hannah, Tweeddale – 4th, 66.19%

CLASS 44 VAULTING BARREL INDIVIDUAL 

BERWICKSHIRE GROUP

Alyse  - 1st
Esme - 3rd
Charlie - 4th
Lauren - 5th

ARTS & CRAFTS
Class 45 - Individual Painting or Drawing (Junior)

Seth, Tweeddale – 4th

Class 50 - Photography Individual (Junior)

Ellie, Tweeddale – 2nd

Class 51 - Special Class - A picture for The RDA National Training Centre

Dawson, Berwickshire - 1st (Junior)

Claire, Berwickshire – 1st (Senior)

For 2022, a virtual National Championships will be held in tandem, but separate to the live competition at Hartpury, which will be a fantastic opportunity for people to get involved.

Best wishes ,

Kim

26 September 2021VIRTUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2021

A message from Margaret. 

I am very proud of all the Berwickshire Group competitors at the RDA Virtual National Championships held this weekend.

Everyone did very well and I hope you saw yourselves on screen.

Class 19 Dressage
2nd Barbara on Bart Simpson

Class 44 Vaulting on the Barrel
1st   Alise
3rd  Esme
4th   Charlie
5th   Lauren

Class 51 Special Class
1st Dawson    (junior)
1st Claire        (senior)

A huge thank you to all our friends and volunteers who filmed or helped in any way.
A very special day for the Group.

Yours Margaret

13 September 2021CERTTIFICATES and ROSETTE PRESENTATIONS

A number of the riders were rescently presented with Rosettes and Certificates gain by them.

 

Alice with her Regional Dressage rosette

Barbara with her Regional Dressage rosette.  Barbara was placed first and qualified for the National Championships.

Carol with her Rosette

Caroline with her Regional Dressage rosette. 

Charlie and Aimee with their Vaulting Achievement Awards

Claire whose arts & crafts regional entries qualified for the national championships.  Presented by Katharine Carson.

Dawson, whose Arts & Crafts regional entry qualified for the national championships.

Jacob with his regional dressage rosette

Lauren with her 1st prize in the Regional Arts & Crafts

Nicky with this 4th Prize rosette for his picture he entered in the Regional Arts & Crafts Competition

Sheena with her Regional Dressage rosette. 

 

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