Hi I'm Sarah, the Friday and Saturday coach at WRDA.
I started volunteering in 2003 after being unable to afford riding lessons, but wanting a way to just be around horses. I was volunteering on Saturdays initially, and in 2011 started on Tuesdays too, enjoying the opportunity to work with different riders, volunteers and coaches. In 2017, a few months after the move to Battle Hill, the Friday coach role became available, and I've been coaching on Fridays since then, along with one ride on a Tuesday, and in mid 2021 I picked up the Saturday coach role. Most of my riders are Sport and Recreation, however across my days I get to work with riders in the Therapy and Education programmes too.
In 2018 I gained my Assistant Coach qualification and as always, I've been lucky to have the support of such an amazing coaching team, as well as the fantastic work of such a great volunteer team and such wonderful horses too.
Currently I volunteer the rest of a Tuesday alongside my coaching, and I also look after all the horses on a Sunday as a grazer. I bought my horse Dex in July 2011, who was previously one of the RDA therapy horses, and he has remained grazing at RDA ever since, which means even if I'm not there to volunteer or coach, I'm often there with Dex.
It's been amazing over the years seeing WRDA grow, especially since the move to Battle Hill, seeing more and more riders benefit so much from this service is so powerful, and shows just how incredible our horses, volunteers and staff are.