New coach welcomed to Hope in the Valley

Left to right: Annie Irving, Jen Watham and  Rosemary Harrison SUS-150331-113328001
Left to right: Annie Irving, Jen Watham and Rosemary Harrison SUS-150331-113328001

The quality of coaching at Hope in the Valley Riding for the Disabled (RDA) is second to none, combining equestrian knowledge with an in-depth understanding of a wide range of disabilities. To meet the high standards required of their Coaches, RDA provides a tailored programme of training and assessment and supports Instructors to help achieve their coaching goals.

On 18 March, at Plumpton College, following a rigorous assessment, two RDA examiners (Annie Irving and Rosemary Harrison) presented Jen Watham with her RDA Group Coach badge.

Jen will now join Hope in the Valley’s current coaches (Lesley Morrill, Sheila Camilleri and Hilary Bowles) in delivering the high standard of therapy and coaching demanded by RDA for all the Group’s riders.

Jen, who is current completing her work for a PhD at Sussex University on Horse Communication and Cognition, reacted to her successful assessment by saying:“I am delighted to have passed my assessment and to become a fully-fledged member of the coaching team! It’s a real pleasure to be involved with the wonderful team of coaches, riders, helpers, and horses at Hope in the Valley, and I look forward to continuing to work with the group.”

Mrs Lesley Morrill, Senior Coach and Chairman of Hope in the Valley, and RDA Country Coach for East Sussex said: “Jen’s input will be invaluable in maintaining our essential therapy sessions for younger riders, and for developing the riding skills of our older riders to enable many of them to participate in RDA activities, including the Countryside Challenge and Dressage at Regional and National levels.”

To help continue with this work for disabled children, Hope in the Valley would be pleased to receive offers of help, particularly from trailer drivers, and offers of ponies.

Please note that volunteers are given RDA training and do not have to be experienced with horses or ponies. All RDA equines have to be assessed as suitable before being used.

For more information about Hope in the Valley see the website www.hopeinthevalley.org, email info@hopeinthevalley.org or telephone 0845 241 5358.

Report and picture contributed by Hope in the Valley RDA Group.