During our tenth anniversary year we started a carriage-driving section especially for those who are confined to a wheelchair or are unable to ride a horse.
The specially-built Fenix driving carriage accommodates a wheelchair which helps disabled riders to enjoy the freedom of a different equestrian sport. Most of the drivers are in a wheelchair but there are some that are too disabled to ride a horse but they gain the same benefits by being in the carriage. As with horse riding, carriage-driving strengthens upper body, improves posture and helps to increase confidence through a sense of being in control.
We normally have two carriage driving ponies, but recently one has died so we looked for another friend for Tony. The new pony needed to be fairly placid and to get along with Tony. We found Betty who has joined us as part of the family. She was a little bit lively at first but Anne Waite has trained her and she has settled down. We carriage drive between April and October to enjoy the best weather. The ponies enjoy going out and are quite well known around the Rudding Park area.
Every year we take both ponies to the home of our Patron, Michael Abrahams. We have a Summer picnic for volunteers and riders and they give carriage rides to the guests.