If you have a disability and would like to join a friendly, supportive group to either rekindle a former love of riding or driving, or simply want a new challenge then do get in touch.
Driving takes place twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Hillside Farm, Lockeridge, near Marlborough, Wiltshire (see Contact Us page for location).
Disabled drivers (known as Disabled Whips or DW’s) can participate in grooming, harnessing and putting the horse to carriage if they wish, with the support of the RDA whips and volunteers. When driving, you are in safe hands because you are accompanied by an able-bodied driver, known as an RDA whip (RDAW), who drives with you. They are there to support and instruct the disabled driver through the ‘dual control’ system of two sets of reins so that the disabled driver can take control and drive themselves, once they feel competent to. The RDAW can also take over if the DW tires, feels unwell or in an emergency.
Disabled drivers can take the RDA’s Carriage Driving Proficiency tests. There are three grades: one, two and three, three being the highest. A driver who attains a level 3 certificate can also be assessed to drive with a single set of reins once the RDAW feels they have reached an appropriate level of competence.
There are also opportunities for disabled drivers to compete at the RDA Carriage Driving Regional competition. Drivers who obtain first or second place qualify for the RDA National Championship which takes place annually at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire.
Carriage Driving is an ideal sport for people with a whole range of physical, neurological or psychological disabilities,physical, neurological or psychological. Please do contact us to see whether carriage driving would suit you by emailing our secretary, Maggie Lewis on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07930 341524