Sunday, 16 January 2011

The Best Thing That DLA Helps Me To Do

The Best Thing That DLA Helps Me To Do

A Once Month Before Heartbreak blog:

There’s a marvellous organisation called RDA (The Riding for the Disabled Association) through whose benevolence - and that of a marvellous ‘local’ riding school which is the home of a local RDA Trust Group - I go riding. I’m booked to go once a week and when I’m physically able to get there it is my haven, my sheer delight, my freedom, my sense of accomplishment, my therapy, my additional physiotherapy (cross-training!), my joy, my challenge, my adopted extended family-and-friends network, my social life.

A horse ambling along the final part of a hack, warming down, travels at about 3 mph. I know this because the first time I was able to go out on a short hack (after an enforced break from riding of over eighteen years) the route brings us along a main road which has those smiley-face/sad-face speed measuring things. It said 3mph. 3mph bumbling along the road. 3mph is six times my own average walking/hobbling speed and that’s on a reasonably ‘good’ day. Bad days, really bad days, I’m not walking under my own steam...

Horses and ponies are providing fresh legs for me. I’m not physically madly strong either so, thankfully, the ones I ride are trained to (mostly) respond to a very light touch but not to react to fidgetting. Special creatures to be able to differentiate between intentional aids, fidgetting, muscular spasms, tics etc., on the part of their riders. Do you wonder that I love them so?

Do you wonder that I am so very, very grateful for my DLA payments which pay for the heavily subsidised amount I pay for my riding, for my lessons, to take part (and sometimes get placed) in dressage competitions at Intro and Prelim levels? And so very, very grateful to the people at the yard and the RDA for enabling me to ride at a generous discount?

There’s more to be said but I can’t see through tears and I’ve got a self-imposed deadline to meet... Thank you for reading. I’ll add some links later...



Oya's Daughter said...

Bless you for posting this up. I haven't ridden in years and desperately miss it, however my son who has autism has been attending the local RDA since he was three. I was so proud of him when he brought his first certificate and ribbon home last year!

Now, sadly, their funding has been halved and he doesn't get to ride anywhere near as much; the kids only get to ride for a term a year now. I really hope when I get my own DLA payments sorted I can get him riding more regularly. IF I get them.

Achelois said...

I thought I had commented here but my mind must have been playing tricks on me. Perhaps its the oramorph, the dihydrocodeine, lyrica, the pain. Your writing is so poignant. Another bendy blogger, a warm welcome to blogoshere.

Hyperkittiy said...

Oh bless, Sis! I am so sorry to hear you have gotten so bad since I left the UK. I wish I could be there just to hug you. Glad you can get to ride at least. I would love to do that.

RockHorse said...

@ Oya's Daughter: I'm so glad that your son gets to ride and saddened to hear of yet another cut to funding. Perhaps you and he could join your local RDA group as individuals and he could then ride, at least occasionally, outside of school time? I'm sure that a couple of the kids have done that at our yard. And I really hope your DLA comes through! Thank you so much for commenting.

@ Achelois: That happens to me quite a lot, too - I'm putting it down to the Lyrica on top of other things, though TBH it could just be amplifying my underlying scattiness ;-) Thank you so much for your kind words and the welcome!

@ Hyperkittiy: Darling Sis, thank you. You know what we're like; the stupid bodies and their nuisancy faults and problems are generally left unsaid. When you were over here a glance could tell us everything and we always knew just how hard or gentle the hug needed to be. Hmmm, where to find you a pony-ride in Bonanza country? xxx