A riding centre on the Isle of Wight has become the latest centre to form an association with RDA through its Accessibility Mark scheme.
Island Riding Centre gained its accreditation following training and assessment and is now hoping to be able to expand its services to more disabled riders.
Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participation programme, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.
Set in stunning countryside, Island Riding Centre is the premier riding venue on the Isle of Wight, and benefits from some of the best beach and countryside trails in the UK.
The Association of British Riding Schools centre prides itself on providing riding opportunities for everyone, from the youngest to the oldest riders and people with limited physical abilities. Their aim is to not only provide fun but also help development and maybe find a potential future riding star.
Accessibility for disabled riders at the centre is un-rivalled in the area, with the newly built facility being design based on recommendation from RDA. The site is fully accessible for wheelchair users and has an access ramp to help with mounting.
As the centre is based in a popular holiday location, they have developed a range of self-catering holiday accommodation with four of the units suitable for disabled people, having being built to the guidelines of the National Accessible Scheme for Disabled Access.
Centre manager Tian Hughes said: “We contacted the RDA to enquire about our options for teaching disabled riders and they recommended the Accessibility Mark scheme, as the most suitable avenue for the centre.
The scheme allows us to tap into the experience of such a well-respected organisation and is attractive to our clients as it demonstrates the gold standard, giving confidence that they are in safe and capable hands.
When the staff attended the training day, they were all incredibly impressed with the vast amount of knowledge displayed by the ASO (Accessibility Support Officer), which focused on good practice on things such as mounting.
We were already teaching some disabled riders with minor physical and learning disabilities but hope to expand this further using our fantastic facilities and with the help and support of RDA.”
Accessibility Mark status is awarded to a riding centre that has been approved by the RDA following training and assessment. The close link with the RDA means that it can offer continuous support to the establishment to ensure it provides a first-class experience that aims to be hugely beneficial.