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Lytchett RDA is a team of volunteers offering riding therapy to local children, and 2020 is a very special year for us as it marks our 40th anniversary. Ever since 1980 the group has been offering weekly riding sessions from Rushall Park Stables in Corfe Mullen, using ponies kindly loaned by Richard Dixon. Our riders are children aged 3 to 10 years with physical and learning difficulties. Many of them come out to us by minibus from Montacute School. The children really look forward to the contact with the ponies, and enjoy the greater freedom of movement that riding can give them. It also helps them to develop core strength, balance and coordination.

Many of our riders have autistic spectrum disorders, and our games and activities also help them in the development of speech and understanding. The beneficial effects of these regular riding sessions are recognized and greatly appreciated by their parents and the school staff. Our wonderful team of volunteers really enjoy the weekly sessions too, and they are just as delighted as the children by every little milestone achieved.

In February 2017 we started operating on a second morning every week, and we now run sessions every Thursday and Friday morning in term time. This has allowed us to nearly double the riding opportunities that we can offer to local children. In the 2018-2019 school year we gave over 420 rides to 40 different riders. This would not have been possible without the support of our many benefactors. Their generous donations pay for the hire of the ponies and the purchase of riding and play equipment. The Corfe Mullen Carnival Committee have always been one of our greatest supporters, and we have benefited enormously from their generosity in the past. We are delighted to have been chosen as one of the Carnival charities again in our milestone year, and we are hugely grateful to all of the Committee for their continuing support.

We are always pleased to welcome new volunteers too! Find out more about us at www.lytchettrda.org.uk