HIGH SCHOOL COLUMN: Robyn lends helping hand at the stables

I am in Year 9 at James Calvert Spence College and when I am not at school I spend part of my weekends volunteering with the Riding for the Disabled Association Group, which is based in Morpeth.

The volunteering involves going up to the stables on a Saturday or Sunday to help out.

They are short of volunteers on Sundays so I try to go up most weeks.

When I am there we have to do a variety of chores including mucking out, feeding and tacking up the horses ready for the riding lessons and then rugging the horses up and putting them out in the fields once they have finished.

I started volunteering as I wanted to take my horse-riding one step further to try to help me get a job in the future and because I love working with horses and wanted to help the stables.

As part of my volunteering I have been assessed and achieved my Bronze Yela Award – Young Enterprise Leaders Award.

This was presented to me by the High Sheriff of Northumberland.

As well as answering assessment questions I had to demonstrate that I could do a range of tasks including leading the horses while they were being ridden by young people with disabilities, mucking out, grooming, feeding and tacking up the horses.

As well as really enjoying myself I have learnt a great many things while I have been volunteering: How to safely lead horses, correct feeding methods, how to prepare them for a lesson and then deal with them after a ride and generally how to care for the horses keeping them clean, dry and healthy.

What are the bits I love about volunteering?

When I am leading different people on the horses and see how much they enjoy it.

What are the bits I hate about it?

There are really no bits that I hate…except the weather!

I now intend to start working towards my Silver Award.

Robyn Rowntree

Year 9