Autumn Term Newsletter

South Bucks RDA Newsletter

Autumn Term 2015

Changes over the summer:

STAFF: We have been very fortunate to take on Helen Burt BHSII as Centre Manager. She has previously worked as yard manager for both Berkshire College of Agriculture and Writtle College of Agriculture. In her last post at BCA she was in charge of about 120 students. She comes with a wealth of knowledge and ideas, and our ponies and staff will be in good hands. You will meet her dog, Alfie, who is getting to know Pepper.

Richard Forsythe has decided to pursue a career change, moving to work in the ‘canine world’. He plans to continue as a volunteer instructor with South Bucks RDA.

Congratulations to Nat Duran, who achieved her RDAGC (Group Coach) award in August. 2

Congratulations, too, go to Gem, who on achieving the BHS stage 1 has been promoted to Groom. Gem recently brought her pony, Tru, to live at SBRDA.


At the beginning of the summer the standing stalls were dug out and laid with concrete. This means that the ground is much easier to keep clean for the ponies when they stand in during the day.

The old barn roof was failing, and inside it was very dark, so it has now been replaced. We no longer have to turn on lights to see what we are doing when mucking out. We also know that asbestos will not fall on us.

The toilet on the gallery is being upgraded, with the hand basin being moved as it was being knocked off the wall. We are now just waiting for the final coat of paint to be put on.

We have bought a new hat store, which is almost complete; it just needs a backboard so hats cannot be knocked down the back.

The biggest change, of course, is the erection of a lodge at the entrance for staff. This will enable the resident staff member to have easy access to the yard when horses are not well. With a number of older horses, this is very reassuring.

Trustee changes:

After having a stroke, Mr Alan Carr has decided to stand down as a group trustee. He was responsible for fundraising.

We are now looking for one or two new trustees to take on that role. If you feel that you have the ability and want to see SBRDA progress, please talk to any of the trustees: Di Redfern (chair), Ian Fullerton (treasurer), Hilary Jones (secretary), Louise Trethowan (HR) and Theresa Drake (instructors, training, DBS and H/S). 3

Keeping up to date:

SBRDA’s web site changed earlier this year. It is becoming more active and will have updates posted as well as news from past events.

SBRDA has an active Facebook page that I urge you all to sign up to and follow. We will be posting urgent requests and important updates here:

Sophie triumphs again:

Sophie Christiansen has added another partnership to the list of horses with which she has become grade 1a European Champion. In early September Athene and Sophie represented Great Britain as part of TEAM GB at Deauville, France. They came home with 3 Golds, Individual Champion, Team Champion and Free-style Champion. This competition was the first overseas international that Athene and Sophie had travelled to. Many thanks go to Di Redfern for finding Athene for Sophie to compete on. Linsay White has been supporting Sophie’s training and Nat Duran has been working exceedingly hard in the background, making sure that the horse is kept fit and turned out to an impeccable standard.


Thank you to those who have helped raise funds for the group. Fundraising activities mean that the cost of rides can be kept to a minimum.

Slough together walk:

Two families put in a great deal of effort and realised that the walk was a little more than the 5 miles they had planned.

Jess and her family raised £2,000 and Ilse and her family raised £726. A big thank you to both families. 4

Over the August bank holiday weekend volunteers, Carol, Hazel, Wendy and Heather (with husband Robin), braved the hustle and bustle of Taplow car boot sale and raised £582.

Rosalind (with Carol, Hazel and Wendy) organised the clothes sale at the yard which raised £355.

Do you think you could do anything towards fundraising: organise a sponsored walk, slim, swim etc., or maybe be more adventurous and help put on a barn dance? If you can, please see Centre Manager, Helen Burt, to discuss your ideas.

Did you know?

We want horses and ponies with a good rhythmical stride at walk and trot. They need to ‘track up’ or ‘over track’; this means that the back feet go into or beyond the footprints of their front feet. This is good for the rider, but at times is a problem for the horse/pony as they are at risk of pulling off their front shoes. To help reduce this risk, they wear overreach boots. These fit around the pastern and hang over the front hooves (pictured below).


We will shortly be holding our annual update training for all volunteers, so please keep your eyes peeled for the notice. There will be a weekend and an evening date.

The RDA national are developing e-learning packages for all volunteers: please visit

Contacting the office:

We rely on volunteers to get our horses ready, instruct and help during the rides. If you cannot make a session, please let the office know:

Landline: 01753 662796

Email: (please note that this is only accessed Mon to Fri 9am-12noon)

Dates for the diary:

26th October: Medical Knowledge training day – book via RDA National Office. This training day is for instructors and deputies.

28-30th October: Para International Competition, Bury Farm, Slapton, Bucks LU7 9BT.

A rare opportunity to see some of the best Para riders in this country, together with competitors from abroad, so near to home and at half term. More details will be available on Facebook nearer the time.

For the pdf version: South Bucks RDA Newsletter Autumn Term 2015