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Luisa's Story

Typical of many kids born in the 60’s we lived on a quarter acre section with the classic lemon and grapefruit trees. Dad also successfully grew persimmons, which we as kids successfully avoided eating. Saturday was my favourite day of the week as Dad would chomp through the vigorously growing lawn with the lawnmower, I would, in my own fantastical world rake up the clippings into a huge mound ready for the day my long awaited for pony would arrive. That day never came, until I bought my own horse at 21 years old.

I did however at 13 years old secure a Saturday job, unpaid of course, at “the Triple R” horse hire on East Coast Rd. The wooden sign still hangs there today. And so began my interaction with the equine. It’s a formidable pull, that of human to horse.

It’s taken me to some beautiful places and some close to overdrawn bank accounts but it is the driving force that drew me to RDA. My lovely friend Cherrill Carter had me tagged from early in my life as a young mum and when the time was right she got her hooks in me and cast me off in the direction of Aubrey Rd. That was some 17 years ago.

Although I would like to say its the equines that have kept me coming year after year, the other thing I was shown as a young child of the 60’s, by my parents, was the importance community and of giving back. Something they did unconditionally.

The other volunteers, with their genuineness and healthy humour and in some cases fine baking…..just saying ….the pureness of spirit of the children and people we help, the positive effect RDA has on them.

There is joy in every Tuesday! I don’t think I’m going anywhere soon.

Luisa Shanahan

Volunteer since 2010

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