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...