Riding Lessons Tees Valley - Riding For The Disabled Tees Valley

RDA, horse riding, riding lessons, riding lessons tees valley, riding for the disabled tees valley, riding for the disabled, pony care days, volunteering, dressage clinics, NVQ Training, show jumping, competitions, charity

RDA, horse riding, riding lessons, riding lessons tees valley, riding for the disabled tees valley, riding for the disabled, pony care days, volunteering, dressage clinics, NVQ Training, show jumping, competitions, charity

   

IN MEMORY OF PAUL CONWAY

Paul Conway sadly passed away on 7th August after bravely struggling with illness for fifteen years.  His courage coping with the results of a serious stroke was an inspiration to all who knew him.

Paul was a great friend of the Riding for the Disabled Association, and particularly the Unicorn Centre.

Paul was a physiotherapist and international marathon runner until he suffered a severe stroke in 2003, leaving him left hemiplegic and very, very depressed.  He admitted that he gave up on everything at this point.

In 2012 Paul was brought by his friend Dr Paula Heath to visit the Unicorn Centre to watch a lesson.  He said that visit changed his life; “Sitting in the gallery watching all the disabled children riding, everyone of them smiling as they rode past me, made me feel so ashamed, giving up so easy”.

Paul had his first riding lesson shortly afterwards.  He found that riding gave him his dignity and self-respect back in addition to the massive physical benefits of improved balance and co-ordination.  Paul said his confidence increased to the point where he could happily mix with other people and make friends; “My emotions have changed, I am positive as I have a new life to think about and my cognitive impairment has improved too”.

Paul was thoroughly passionate about riding therapy and the Unicorn Centre and he wrote in its support to the Horse and Rider magazine and on the RDA website in addition to local publications.  He actively supported the Centre through giving a participant’s perspective at talks and events, all given in his own endearing and inimitable manner - a true ambassador for RDA participants.  At one social evening talk Paul told our volunteers not just to tell people ‘I volunteer at the Unicorn Centre but that, I change lives’.

Paul continued his regular lessons from 2012 until recently and also took part in RDA dressage competitions, which ignited his competitive streak again.  He said that “Many people have seen a big change in me, doctors and consultants comment at the remarkable transformation riding has done for me”.  In 2013 he received a national RDA Award “Most Improved Participant” at their Gala Awards evening from Clare Balding and the Northern Echo Local Hero Award for Remarkable Achievement.

Paul leaves a huge hole in the hearts of so many people, but RDA and the Unicorn Centre can truly say that his incredible passion for riding therapy will continue to inspire so many lives.

Paul’s funeral will take place on 21 August at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church inNorton at 12 noon with refreshments in the Church Hall afterwards.Donations are requested in lieu of flowers to the RDA Unicorn Centre via  http://mydonate.bt.com/events/paulconwaymemory/473262  .  The retiring collection will be shared between St Joseph’s and the RDA Unicorn Centre.

 

RDA, horse riding, riding lessons, riding lessons tees valley, riding for the disabled tees valley, riding for the disabled, pony care days, volunteering, dressage clinics, NVQ Training, show jumping, competitions, charity

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Riding Lessons & Services

RDA, horse riding, riding lessons, riding lessons tees valley, riding for the disabled tees valley, riding for the disabled, pony care days, volunteering, dressage clinics, NVQ Training, show jumping, competitions, charityRDA, horse riding, riding lessons, riding lessons tees valley, riding for the disabled tees valley, riding for the disabled, pony care days, volunteering, dressage clinics, NVQ Training, show jumping, competitions, charity

The Unicorn Centre provides riding lessons and therapy for children and adults from 5 years old, both disabled and able-bodied. The Centre has 20 horses and ponies, carefully chosen for their temperament, size and ability to work with disabled riders, and a hoist facility for mounting onto ponies is available for wheelchair users... read more