RDA National Championships 2021

Watch the RDA National Championships and look out for our four fabulous Cavalier Centre Riders


Click here – RDA Virtual National Championships – Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)

Autumn 2021 Newsletter

Autumn Newsletter 2021

Click link to download the PDF and read all our latest news and updates.

Sensory Garden Donation from Westland Horticulture

We had a very generous donation of bird baths, bird boxes and bird feeders from Westland Horticulture for our sensory garden and trail. These will be a fantastic addition to the garden which we plan to start creating in the coming months. There is nothing more relaxing than watching our wild birds and hearing their beautiful calls. We hope this space will be somewhere that our participants and families can go to relax and enjoy. If that’s to read a book, listen to the birds or watch our horses in the field. 

We are also looking to build a sensory trail around our carriage track for our participants to enjoy while riding or driving. These are some images from our friends @questRDA who have a fantastic trail.




We have also had a donation of bug houses from Homes for Bugs. https://www.facebook.com/homesforbugs/


If you are able to donate anything towards our garden we would be very grateful. We are looking for the following items:

  • Sleepers
  • Benches
  • Trellises
  • Plants (roses, grasses, clematis, small trees etc)
  • Wildflower and lawn seed
  • Topsoil
  • Sensory items (statues, chimes etc)

Or would you like to give a kind donation towards the build of the garden you can do so here.

We look forward to welcoming you to the sensory garden very soon!

Resources hub for participants

To help participants to carry on with RDA at home, RDA National Office have collected some resources in this shared hub here called ‘RDA at Home’: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/16Az8DbeXnH8HOUBkHcr_d0KxxhlVZCrQ


You will find educational worksheets as well as a range of ‘just for fun’ activity sheets which can be downloaded and printed out. They will be adding to this as the weeks go on

Our first newsletter!

 Cavalier Centre Scoop

 Welcome to our first newsletter!
Each term we’ll bring you up to date with everything that’s been going on at the Centre and future dates for your diary. We hope you enjoy reading it and if you have any ideas about future content please let us know.

What’s new?
Unfortunately, due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Centre is currently closed and many of the events we had planned for the coming weeks and months have been postponed. Therefore this newsletter looks a bit different to how we had originally intended! This is a difficult time for all of us so we have been posting activities on our Facebook, Twitter and new Instagram channels. Please keep in touch with us and we really look forward to resuming activities at the Centre when it is safe to do so.

Meet our new Centre Manager
Our new Centre Manager Rachel Lambert-Jones joined us in January and what a three months it has been! Find out more about Rachel at our website.

Competitions at the Centre
Sadly the Regional Qualifiers and RDA National Championships have been cancelled. However, the Cavalier Centre will be hosting competitions for all our participants once it is safe to do so. Watch this space!

Volunteer Update
Congratulations to Sally Austin, one of our long standing volunteers, who has recently qualified to coach with us.  Sally has taken over our Thursday afternoon sessions and will also be starting some new sessions on Sunday afternoons. Many thanks to Sally and all our coaches for giving their time to the centre.

Ideas to keep busy
Take a look at our website for links to some Makaton videos. Makaton is a signing system used to accompany spoken language and is used by many of our participants. We’re also posting some key Makaton signs on our Facebook page.

Now would be a great time to complete the e-learning modules on the MyRDA website. There are modules on safeguarding, disability awareness, autism and equine knowledge.

People and Pony Focus
Perry RDA is nothing without our ponies and people, be it our participants, their parents and carers, our wonderful army of volunteers and our team of staff. In each edition we’ll get to know one person, how they are involved with Perry RDA and of course about their favourite pony! This time we meet Sam Rogers who rides with us every Saturday.

 What do you like about coming to the Cavalier Centre?
I like going to the Cavalier Centre because it is friendly and the lessons are good.

 What have you learned since starting riding?
I have learnt to trot and hold the reins properly.

 Who is your favourite horse and why?
My favourite horse is Theo as he is the horse I mostly ride and trust.

 What are your hopes for the future?
My hope is to be able to ride without help.

 Share Your Pony Pics
We’re all missing the Cavalier Centre horses and ponies so let’s share our favourite pictures of them and make each other smile! Please send your pictures to [email protected]. This is Becky’s favourite photo of Billy.

 Pony Update
All of our horses and ponies are currently enjoying a well-earned rest. Some have stayed at the centre, whilst some have gone to holiday homes. Here’s volunteer Isla checking on Stubbs and Billy who are holidaying in a field close to her house. Finn is also in the same field and, as you can see, is enjoying the relaxation.

 Coaches Corner
Our Yard Manager Annabel has put together some exercises to keep you fit.

Side lunges – 10 on each side
10 squat jumps
Forward lunges – 10 on each side
10 crunches
Skipping – 40 skips and 20 seconds rest, repeat 4 times.

If you’ve got some exercise ideas, send them to us and we’ll share them with everyone.

 Participant Survey
Thank you to all participants and their parents and carers who completed our recent survey. Collecting your feedback is really important in helping us improve and grow. We also love the comments you leave us on our whiteboard.



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Top Tips for Signing

Many of our participants and their carers use signing to communicate with each other and others. You can use signs to help communicate with people who are deaf or people who have communication difficulties. Makaton is used to support spoken language. BSL (British Sign Language) is a full language used by the deaf. The signs used in Makaton are the same as those in BSL.


Even learning a few key signs can aid communication between volunteers, staff and participants.
Its great if you can learn all the signs you need but don’t worry if you can’t.

A few hints for when you’re communicating in sign
 Stand where the person you’re communicating with can easily see you. You don’t
necessarily have to be close. Signing can work well at a distance too
 If there is a light behind you it can be difficult to see what you are saying, so try moving to
one side
 Your hands need to be visible so think about what you are wearing. Black gloves against a
black coat make it much more difficult to see signs
 Try and stand where you can be seen without the rider having to turn to look at you. If they
have to turn to look it will affect their riding.
 Remember if they are holding their reins they will need to let go to sign back. There can be
a lot of stopping and starting in a session using sign. This might feel frustrating but it’s
important to communicate well.

For videos with lots of signs relating to many aspects of RDA life please visit: https://www.myrda.org.uk/assets/Communicating-using-signs.pdf

Wyldwoods selling nearly new workshop

Our friends at Wyldwoods are selling this large wooden workshop. 10x20ft. Bought a year ago for £3800, they’re asking for £2000 ONO. Buyer collects and dismantles. Please contact Steph at Wyldwoods if interested. 07816 113539, [email protected]

Pony Care Club Achieve Level 1 in Horse Care

A couple of weeks ago our Pony Care Club team earned their Level 1 in Horse Care. They now have just one more week to go before earning their Level 2 certificates and badges which we were looking forward to doing this weekend. Amongst the skills and knowledge the children have learned is how to groom and the names for key pieces of kit, horse colours and markings, basic parts of the horse and parts of tack.


Once this team have completed their final session, we will be offering the club to six more children. The club lasts eight weeks and children will have the opportunity to return to the club later in the year to earn their Level 3 in Horse Care.

If you are interested in reserving a place please email Becky at [email protected]

Pony Care Club get Creative!

This week at Pony Care Club the children learned about the different colours of the Cavalier Centre ponies and horses. Pony Care Club is an inclusive group for children to learn about how to care for horses. After looking at all the different horses in their corrales, the group escaped the rain to the warmth of our classroom to begin making these little booklets.



Muck, Muck, Glorious Muck!

Our super volunteer John has been busy bagging up our well rotted manure. Local gardeners have been happily taking it away and kindly donating to us. Apparently it’s good stuff. One gardener took 16 bags of it last week! Of course we have plenty more where this came from so keep coming to get it!

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