Kennet Valley Driving Group is a carriage driving branch of the Riding for Disabled Association. Founded over 20 years ago to help boys with Muscular Dystrophy the group has grown and now owns its two horses. It also owns three purpose built carriages that allow those in wheelchairs to experience the freedom of controlling a horse and carriage.
From our original home at Stonar School we have moved several times and are now settled at Hillside Farm, Lockeridge and have access to the Marlborough Downs over the summer. We have some truly beautiful drives which provide disabled people the opportunity to get out of the house and into the countryside which would otherwise be difficult. Our carriages can be adapted for wheelchair users as well as more mobile disabled people.
Our horses are chosen to have the calm personality and temperament that makes them perfect for their job of introducing new comers to carriage driving. Two of them, Drummer and Perrine, have both recently received the RDA’s long service award. We lost a third horse about 18 months ago and are on the lookout for a replacement for him when we can find a suitable animal.
Volunteers who are interested in becoming an RDA Whip can take part in training before being assessed.
Disabled drivers (whips) can also take part in gaining the RDA’s Carriage Driving Proficiency certificate grades one, two and three, grade three being the highest. Once grade three has been achieved some of our drivers are able to complete their single rein assessment for competency to drive without having a second set of reins for the RDA whip.
As well as the educational side there is also the opportunity to compete at the RDA carriage driving regional competition, where first place drivers also qualify for RDA National Championship, more information can be found at RDA taking part in competition.