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Bridget's Story

I grew up with horses and ponies on a family farm in the Wairarapa, one of the events I completed in was a fundraiser for the RDA and after participating in several gymkhanas I knew by around 12 years old that I wanted to volunteer for RDA "when I grew up".   

Realising this dream around 18 months ago has been more than I could imagine, I have been privileged to encourage shy and scared riders to pat and eventually (even if temporarily) find the bravery to ride, to support nervous riders relax and enjoy the ride and some to eventually embrace trotting and even to help a blind rider practice trust. 

One rider that stands out to me, along my short journey so far has embodied a little of it all. They have gone from not lasting a full ride on the horse (we executed several emergency dismounts for the benefit of Phoenix) to becoming relatively calm, listening, engaging in activities and most recently, using the reins to steer Phoenix in the right direction.  While she is largely non-verbal her ability to tap for walk-on, use her reins, follow directions and give high fives along with her growing maturity has turned a challenging ride into one I look forward to.

Bridget Armstrong

Volunteer since 2022

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