First ride dates - Monday 12th February and Thursday 15th February.


View this email in your browser
  • Welcome to Term 1 - 2018.
  • End of 2017 Xmas & prizegiving
  • TPRDA welcomes "Batman."
  • 40th Anniversary Celebrations
  • A Volunteers Story - Doug Humby
  • A Riders Story - Sophie Bold.
  • Volunteer of the Year - Jill Stevenson Award.
  • New Coach - Vivienne Gosbee
  • Horse Leader Volunteers wanted
  • Sponsors and Grants
  • Recipe - Michele's Rocky Road Slice.
  • Presidents Report.

Happy New Year everybody. To all riders, parents, caregivers, volunteers and our Pony Team, welcome back to TPRDA and to another year full of fun activities and achievements. Hasn't it been a lovely summer so far? We do hope that the gorgeous summer weather continues and if so please be aware that on very hot days you will need a hat, plenty of sunscreen and remember to encourage each other to drink lots of water to help prevent fatigue.
As you will see from the following, we had a very enjoyable end of 2017 for all concerned. Congratulations to those riders who achieved their goals last year. To those who are new to TPRDA this year, we want to wish you a very warm welcome.

This is always an exciting time of year for our coaches and volunteers; the recognition of all the hard work our fabulous, talented riders have put in through the year towards achieving their personal goals. All riders received a certificate with some earning special awards for extra hard work.
Congratulations to Destiny Shelford-Green on winning the Bill Clarkson Award which is given annually to the rider who achieves the most in Attitude, Behaviour and Communication.
Destiny received this award because;
Her riding skills had improved tremendously over the year thanks to her “can do” attitude
She was always prepared to take on anything – including riding a much bigger horse, Lily.
She was always smiling and polite to all the volunteers – as well as always being first up to mount.

Well done Destiny, you, your supportive family and friends are an inspiration to us all!

Below: Destiny on Lily with Leader, Michele.
 As the photos below show, everyone got into the spirit of the season with a visit from Santa, of course; but then there was another very special visitor too...
1. Lucas Chae on Bobby adds a decoration to the Xmas Tree.
2. Some of our riders waiting to receive their certificates and treats from Santa!
3. Rider Gurpreet Singh showing how much he enjoys riding his horse, Tobi with Leader, John and Sidewalker, Fran.

4. Rider Isaiah Young receiving his award from Cilla and showing that riding his horse, Dancer is almost as good as rugby! With Leader Helen and Sidewalker, Doug.
5. Rider Stefan Holt on his horse Hershey, receives his award and a high five from Cilla with Leader Peter and Sidewalker, Allan.
What excitement! TPRDA welcomed super-hero, Batman to the last Thursday ride of 2017.
The reception committee of 'Zorro' (aka President Di) and 'Batwoman' (aka Carole) did quite a bit of 'flying around' themselves getting everything ready. The improvised yellow mask attached to the glasses was a very creative touch!
Even Hershey appreciated it but Shorty wasn't too sure at a certain pony team lady's get up...
Batman proved to be as big a hit with the riders as we had hoped; he looked so authentic, right down to the ejector button on the dash of his Batmobile, 'Dark Knight.' He even had his own authentic 'Batman' Drivers Licence; he definitely rides or flies to the rescue inside the law!
Rider Logan decided he wouldn't mind being Batman's assistant if he could take a turn at driving! When he saw the boot, that cinched it; he was ready to go to the toys' rescue in the large arena directly after a photo opportunity with his super hero.
Riders Ben Styles and Sally got to meet Batman too; what an day of excitement for them all!

The occasion made it into the newspapers too! Click on this link to read the story in 'Stuff'.
On the 18th November 2017, TPRDA celebrated it's 40th anniversary with a wonderful afternoon tea held at The Howick Bowling Club.
An incredible amount of work went into this celebration. From Helen & Kylie Warfield's gorgeous table arrangements, the fantastic display boards put together by Cilla Bell and Anne Chamberlin to Sally Champion's ace job meeting and greeting the 75 attendees as well as deciding on a great menu for the club's caterers to deliver.
It was an extraordinary mix of past and present RDA supporters, sponsors, riders and volunteers. The laughter and talk flowed way past 'quitting time!' It was a time of catching up, poring over the photo albums, recalling riders, events and different horse personalities; with one RDA person remarking; 'I'm not so good on people, but I remember the horses names, every time!'
Acting President, Anne Chamberlin started the ball rolling with an entertaining rundown on how RDA got started back in 1977 at the Whitford Pony Club.
Anne recalls; 'those Whitford locals had terrific drive and a lot of fun making it all happen for the first handful of disabled children.'
Cilla Bell was next explaining the shift to Totara Park at the current Totara Park Equestrian Centre, sharing it with the Pony Club and the Adult Riders' club.
Ray Chamberlin did an excellent job with the data show slides put together by another RDA volunteer, photographer Doug Humby.
Special guests included were the Chair of NZRDA, Sarah Haydon and the Area One NZRDA representative on the Board, Fiona Wilson.
Sarah's address was followed by a presentation of a very welcome cheque by Colin Salt, President of the Howick Lions Club.
Next came the cutting of the cake by our 2017 Rider of the Year, Destiny Shelford-Green.
Five years ago, Destiny could only walk with the aid of a special walking frame. But for the very first time this year, showed how she was able to walk independently! This is a real testimony to the power of RDA working in tandem with her medical support people to achieve this wonderful, new-found mobility. She looked so pretty and grown up, cutting the cake with Sally. 
After the formalities were over it was time for a monumental catch up with old friends.
Photos below:
1. 2017 Rider of the Year and recipient of the Bill Clarkson Award, Destiny, looking very proud to be cutting the cake.
2. Helen & Kylie's beautiful table arrangements;
3. The display boards put together by Anne and Cilla;
4. Acting President, Anne delivering her speech.
5. Cilla very happy to catch up with Hana Hosking, her friend and ex RDA Coach.
What a happy and memorable occasion it turned out to be. Thank you to President Diana Knight for suggesting it, even though you left the country before it really got under way! (We forgive you, because you are back with us now.)
Actually, it was no worries at all with Sally, Anne and Cilla on the job! It all came together beautifully. A huge thanks to everyone involved.

To view other photos taken on the day, visit our website:

Photos below: 1. Barfoot & Thompson Real Estate Agent and TPRDA Volunteer, Linda Agnew catching up with Elizabeth Roberts, a former Pony Team RDA volunteer and Gayleen MacKereth, a former rider and long time sponsor of our dear old Klyde. 
2. Current Pony Team Volunteers, Carole Sanders and Loraine Grant with Botany Pak' n Save Team Supervisor and volunteer, Jill Groenstein.
3. Volunteers, Helen Warfield and daughter Kylie watching Waren Warfield receiving his basket of goodies in thanks for his family's massive and ongoing support for TPRDA. Waren had a major role in the engineering side of the Covered Arena Project, which probably wouldn't have happened without him!
4. The man behind many of our best RDA session action photos, Doug Humby chats to a former volunteer, John McKillop.

5. The beautifully presented display boards showing TPRDA's history, put together by Cilla and Anne.
Riding for the Disabled Volunteer motivated by helping others.
Totara Park Riding For the Disabled relies heavily on the many volunteers we have.
These wonderful people cheerfully give up some of their valuable time to help others.
Without them, there would be no riding therapy for our precious riders.
There are many reasons why people volunteer, so we have asked one of our hard-working and dedicated volunteers, our photographer, Doug Humby to let us know why and how he decided to get involved.

Doug says:
"My first personal encounter with Totara Park Riding For the Disabled (TPRDA) was June 2012 when my camera was called on to capture a day at the Totara Park arena!
It was about then I decided that come retirement, this is where some of my time could be and would be spent.
The fun and caring environment provided by an obviously dedicated team of volunteers being rewarded with 'high fives' by the youngest of riders inspired me to be able to enrich the lives of this mix of children and adults of all ages from our community with various grades of disabilities.
Further photo shooting opportunities along the way at various riding events kept me inspired to one day reach out and be able to contribute to such a worthwhile organisation. So, when the final curtain came down on employment in March 2016 I found myself on the grounds of TPRDA the very next month, April!
Whilst during my working career I had gained management and people skills, nothing like this could ever be anticipated. I immediately recognised the need to accept other skills along with a real sense of purpose. TPRDA provided initial induction training and they continue to upgrade the level with ongoing sessions. This all gives a sense of well-being and accordingly, one's personal growth continues to grow as you are surrounded by these inspiring riders and fellow volunteers.
As a volunteer, of any role at any level, the NZ organisation of RDA openly recognises and acknowledges the volunteer participation. Obviously, without volunteers, their work and the respective results for the special riders could not be achieved. The local  branches, like TPRDA, continually express their thanks also which are often celebrated accordingly with the volunteers.
Volunteering alongside similar minded people has given me the opportunity to make new friends within a very supportive team who encourage and stimulate others and riders to be happily contained within their caring, safe and creative fun environment.
For me personally, I don't think I have ever felt so rewarded in what I do for these special family members. The conversations and feedback with their parents certainly confirms that.

Doug Humby,

Thank you Doug, for all your lovely words. We know this will inspire others to reach out and be a part of this wonderful family.
Here at TPRDA it always warms our hearts to see our riders achieving their goals and personal growth.
We are always keen to hear their stories and to share it with others.
This term we are privileged to hear Sophie's story...
Sophie's Mum, Catherine writes;
"Sophie & I start every school week after dropping her brothers at school, passing through hectic East Auckland traffic to more rural streets lined with paddocks, on our way to TPRDA. Driving down the long driveway we can see other riders, volunteers and the ponies waiting for us to join them for our weekly one hour respite from 'busyness.'
Once there, Sophie gets ready and is taken by her two sidewalkers and helped on to Zoe, her lovely pony for her riding therapy session in the big arena.
Sophie has a type of Cerebral Palsy called Diplegia which changes the way her whole body works, but mainly affects her legs. RDA is great physical therapy for Sophie; it gives her muscles a good workout. Horse riding alone works lots of muscles in her body but the array of activities set out by the volunteers each week helps to work other muscles too. One of the best challenges I like to watch Sophie do is when she kneels on the horse's back on all fours and raises an arm up horizontally while staying balanced; I don't think I could do that! Sophie really enjoys leaning forward and giving Zoe a little cuddle.
RDA doesn't just help her physically, Sophie has the undivided attention of three friendly adults for an hour. Sophie loves to talk and although she's working hard, I think she loves the opportunity to chat while no-one can escape her! RDA is a space where in all aspects, she is set up to succeed.This is lovely for a little girl who lives in a society where the physical environment and attitudes are often more limiting than her disability.
One of Sophie's favourite parts of RDA comes at the end of her session when she gets to brush Zoe's coat, gently pat her and thank her for taking good care of her. Sophie is usually tired at the end of her ride but she is always brighter and very smiley! Then its back to reality and school.
Our family is so grateful to everyone at TPRDA who donates their precious time and money so Sophie and the other riders can reap the enormous benefits of riding the horses and spending time with the very generous volunteers. 
Sophie had an operation in December 2017 from which she is still recovering, so unfortunately, no riding for her at the moment. We are looking forward to Term 2 so we can get back to spending our Monday mornings enjoying the beautiful scenery and calmness of Totara Park RDA."

Thank you Catherine. Sophie; we look forward to seeing you back on Zoe real soon.

Photos below:
Sophie showing off her medal; riding Amigo with Sidewalker, Margot and recovering from surgery with a cheerful 'thumbs up!'
Jan & Loraine, great mates illegally parked for coffee!


The Jill Stevenson Cup for Volunteer of the Year is awarded each year to one of our volunteers as an acknowledgement of how highly we value them.
In 2017, it gave us great pleasure to present this award to Loraine Grant at the Xmas luncheon.
Loraine has filled every role at RDA and continues to support us in many ways. On average, she spends around 7 hours a week doing chores, over and above her RDA duties as Leader and Sidewalker.
She is usually up at the park 4-5 days each week feeding and grooming our precious pony herd, cleaning paddocks, organising the lessees and being available when needed for treatments etc.
Somewhere in all this she manages to fit in a few rides on her favourite horse, Hershey!
Loraine, we cannot thank you enough for all that you do for TPRDA.
You are an exceptional gem whom we greatly appreciate.

Loraine says...
"After a rewarding teaching career in NZ, PNG and finally Australia spanning almost four decades, I returned to NZ to retire, whatever THAT looks like!!!
I noticed an advertisement in the local paper wanting volunteers for RDA and having spent the last few years of my career, working with physically and learning disabled children, along with my life long love of horses, I felt this was an opportunity for me to give back.
That was exactly nine years ago and I still enjoy everything thing about TPRDA - a great organization managed by clever and caring people.

During my time with TPRDA, I undertook a coaching role and was fully supported by the Committee in my professional development - giving me some wonderful learning opportunities with many highly respected trainers. 
My love of horses and kids is totally fulfilled. I have been the lessee of our gorgeous horse Hershey for eight years and have again, been privileged to learn so much from him.  My respect for both the horses and the volunteers is unwavering.
The dedication, professionalism, companionship and expertise makes RDA days very special.

My favourite quote: "With horses and children with disabilities, you will never know it all," which makes us all, life long learners. How lucky are we? I thank you for this acknowledgement and accept it on behalf of all our willing volunteers and our eight wonderful steeds.
PS - This is special to me: my intellectually disabled brother rode in the Gisborne RDA when I was a young teacher - his joy remains a wonderful memory. "

TPRDA would like to introduce you to Vivienne, or Viv as she is happy to be called, as our new coach.
Viv says:
"I grew up on a dairy farm in Te Awamutu. From age 10, I attended Kihikihi Pony Club having to ride along the road to get there! Since then, I have had a very keen interest in horses. I also attended the odd show and hunted in the winter. When I was studying, I rode track work exercising racehorses.
My two daughters, aged 15 and 13 are both members of the Beachlands Pony Club which has enabled me to take up riding again.
I went to Teachers College when I was 18, then travelled the world doing office work and care-giving. 
On returning to New Zealand I trained as an Occupational Therapist and then went to the U.K. to work in O.T. in hospitals and the community.
My husband and I returned to N.Z. in 2011. I then worked for Howick Home Healthcare as a community O.T. where I modified people's homes and issued lots of complex equipment.
I currently live in Maraetai and it has been a great pleasure to work locally for over two years in Beachlands School as a Teacher Aide. I really enjoyed this role as I was able to combine my education knowledge and use my O.T. skills.
I am looking forward to working for RDA and meeting with you all.

Below: Viv & her lovely horse, Whisper.
Viv with Cate Warner from Ambury Park who ran our horse leading and sidewalking training session on Thursday 8th February.
Cate is very experienced and had us all convinced that "a happy horse is a safe horse" doing what it's supposed to only if we are performing our team roles mindfully.
Plenty of hands-on practice too e.g. the leader only, scratching Lily's trapezius neck muscle to lower her heart rate after a bit of unwanted excitement.
Volunteer Horse Leaders Wanted
  • affinity with animals/ horses
  • common sense
  • confidence
  • empathy with people with disabilities
  • Monday or Thursday 8.00am to 1.00pm
School Term only
Phone or Text Caryl 021 2077114
Where would be be without our sponsors? Along with our team of volunteers TPRDA would not be able to continue without the support of these wonderful people and companies:
Horse Sponsors:

Dancer - Howick Local Board.
Saint - Jean & Peter Lewis.
Shorty - Karen Goosman (Ray White.)
Bobbi - Kevin & Bobbi Mapson.
Bobbi - Bradley Product Management.
Lily - Chris Wilcox
Hershey - YHI
Tobi - Rock Parfitt, Whitford Dental Group
Zoe - Tania Ross, Unit2Go Ltd.
 Michele's Rocky Road Slice.
Biscuit base:
250g butter, 180g sugar, 1teaspoon vanilla essence, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder.
Throw all these in a food process and blitz until it all starts to come want it a little be in clumps, as it needs to be pressed into a well-greased swiss roll (20 by 30cm) tin.
Then - sprinkle on the good stuff...
1/2 cup of white chocolate buttons/melts or similar
1 cup of craisins
1 cup of coconut flakes/shavings....rather than the fine stuff
1 cup of flaked almonds
1 cup of baking marshmallows...these are smaller and tend to hold together a bit better than the normal big marshmallows, which I think might melt into one big heap!
Finish with a second 1/2 cup of white chocolate melts and then evenly pour over 
a tin of condensed milk.
In the oven at 180 (or 170 on fanbake) for 25 to 30 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin, and try not to eat all in one sitting!

Happy New Year everybody. Welcome back and we hope you all enjoyed a relaxing, joyful holiday.
We extend a very warm welcome to all our new volunteers, riders, parents and caregivers and are very pleased to welcome our new Coach, Vivienne and Treasurer, Sonya.
Some of last year's riders have now graduated which is always a hard decision four our coaches to make. They do need to consider which horses are available and if they have taken the rider as far as they can. They continually assess our riders and ensure our programme is for those that will continue to benefit from it and we do wish our graduated riders all the very best for their future.
All parents, carers and sponsors are invited to come along and enjoy a day with us. To see the smiles on our rider's faces when they interact with their horses and our ever cheerful volunteers, whilst achieving their goals and having fun, is priceless.
We look forward to another year filled with wonderful moments and are very grateful for the support of a very positive, hardworking team, total y committed to achieving the best possible outcomes for our horses and riders.

Without our whole team, there would be no RDA!

Diana Knight, President.

Copyright © *2018* *Totara Park Riding For the Disabled*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
251 Redoubt Road,
P.O. Box 39-191
HOWICK - CC38934

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list


This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
TPRDA · 852 Taupo Bay Rd, · RD1 Mangonui, Auckland Region 0494 · New Zealand

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp