Who We Are
In July 1985, Gaile Ogden and Anne Coney visited a Riding for Disabled national holiday in Saffron Waldron. This holiday was run from a farm house, the outbuildings being used as dining halls and accommodation. Independently, both friends decided that Anne’s home at Bank Farm would be an ideal venue.
So, in July 1986 the first holiday for 8 disabled children was held at Bank Farm. Financial support was given by the Lions Clubs in the area and on the last night they were invited to come and see how their money had been spent. That night, a well respected physiotherapist for disabled children in the area asked ‘ why don’t you run lessons here for independent disabled children, I can supply them!’. The team that had got together for the camp agreed to give this a go and Bank Farm RDA started with one rider and one pony on September 6th 1986.
To date our group has run 18 National RDA holidays and 14 National carriage driving holidays.
As time went on, we started to collect more and more riders. We used Anne’s children’s ponies, and bought or had on loan others.
Nearly 35 years later, we have 7 ponies and 36 children taking part in our weekly sessions and have built a thriving and happy community.
What We Do
We run two sessions on Mondays for two local schools, and we run four sessions on Saturdays, which individuals can apply to join.
We are grateful to have over 40 volunteers, 20 of whom are under 18 years old and most are working towards their Duke of Edinburgh or YELA awards. We also have 5 coaches and first aid trained volunteers.
In every session and time spent with our disabled children, we strive to make their lives just that little bit more exciting and confident, giving them the opportunity for this through interaction with our ponies and our volunteers.
Who We've Helped
We believe the work we have done over the past 35 years has truly enriched the lives of the children we try to help. But, don't take our word for it! Hear it from our previous and current riders.
Our daughter has been riding with Bank Farm for many years now and from that very first day she has been treated with a truly inspiring degree of love and kindness. Every ride has three people supporting her to make sure that she is both safe and enjoying herself. The reward is her huge grin and happy noises. She loves coming to riding which helps both her mental and physical wellbeing, and we love how delighted and excited she is to be with the horses and learning new skills.
Bank Farm Riding has transformed my son. He is so happy on the pony now.