New pastures have been found for Central Otago Riding for the Disabled (Corda).
The scent of freshly baked scones wafting from the new kitchen and a freshly painted meeting room signalled Corda’s new home.
Corda president Lynda Gray said after the lease was not renewed on their former site near the Alexandra golf course, they became members of the Dunstan Equestrian Centre (DEC) and took over what was the jockeys’ room when Alexandra had a race course.
The riding season for group finished at the end of term one and the group, led by volunteer Brian Brown, had been busy ‘‘tarting up’’ their new home.
The Central Otago District Council and the equestrian centre had been very supportive, Ms Gray said.
A $20,000 grant from Transpower was a huge help with the strict health and safety requirements for their group.
Generous discounts from EziKitchen and Flooring Xtra meant they had a lovely space for their volunteers to prepare and serve morning tea for riders and helpers, which was an important part of the experience, she said.
The group had six horses, all with suitable temperaments. People often thought old horses were best but they, like humans, tended to get a bit stiff with age and riders needed horses that moved freely.
Volunteer Josie Lake said their horses ranged in age from 9 to 16, all with a placid temperament and willingness to learn.
Corda had riders each week during the first and fourth school term each year when the weather was warmer and e ground drier.
Volunteers were always welcome and did not need any experience with horses. There were about 20 riders each week and they usually needed a support person each as well as someone leading the horse, Ms Gray said.
Corda provided a place for people with disabilities from throughout Central Otago to participate in sport while being assisted with greater mobility.