Ben’s Story

Age – 11 years

Special needs – Global delay, hearing impaired, Axenfeld-Reiger Syndrome

How old was Ben when he started riding with HRA?

Ben started riding at HRA in May 2011 when he was 4.  He was the youngest rider, and initially it was on a trial basis.  Ben’s sister Kerry is a groom at the stables, so Ben had spent a lot of time around horses and was really ready to start learning to ride.  He has really improved with his riding and moved up to Squadron 7 in 2017 where he gains additional experience with horse care and management.



What activities has he taken part in?

Ben has participated in a wide range of activites at HRA including the following highlights: –

  • Royal Windsor Horse Show 2015 – Fancy Dress Competition – riding Benji dressed as Mr Bump from the Mr Men Books – they were placed second. [pic]
  • Marching with Squadron 6 at the Founders Day Parades, including leading Cameo
  • Competing at the RDA Open Days and HRA Gymkhana –including helping Princess Anne hand out rosettes when she came to the Open day in 2016, and presenting Princess Michael of Kent with flowers at Awards day in 2015 – [pics]
  • RDA Big Ride 2017 – Ben took part in this event riding his favorite horse Benji.
  • Ben has been quite the ambassador for RDA activities at HRA, with his pictures featuring on many of the Fund Raising brochures, and videos made for HRA.


Which horses has Ben ridden?

Ben has ridden a number of the RDA horses – all different shapes and sizes – from the lovely ponies Benji and Blackie, the gentle giants Sam, Dolly and Tilly and the marvelous middle sized Joey, Danny and Solly.

Does Ben have a favorite horse?

Bens favourite horses are Benji and Cameo

What does he like most about riding?

Friends, competing  at the gymkhana, Windsor Horse Show, mucking out and taking part in Founders Day Parade. Ben initially joined HRA as an independent rider in Squadron 6 when he was quite young and as he progressed and improved, his mother asked for him to move onto Squadron 7, which is more aligned with the mainstream HRA squadrons.  He now enjoys mucking out, grooming and badge work as well as riding. Ben’s confidence around horses and people has improved greatly since moving into Squadron 7, and he sees the HRA Logo as representing him riding on Benji.  He is very proud of wearing the HRA uniform and always looks very smart when he attends all the HRA events.  His favourite day of the week is Wednesday when he comes in early for his session to chat with everyone at HRA.

Finley’s story

Val – Finley’s mothers comments regarding his riding:-
Finley has Cerebral Palsy, Global Development Delay & severe speech and language delay. He has been attending the RDA sessions at Horse Rangers with his school Manor Mead each week. Finley absolutely loves the sessions and we have noticed a significant increase in his core stability. He is even able to give simple instructions to start and stop his horse!!






Caroline – Finley’s coach for his RDA riding sessions
Finley is such a delight to have in class. He is very enthusiastic and excited to get on all the horses – some of his favourites are Joey and Dublin. During the riding sessions, Finley communicates well with the helpers and his horse, and it is no surprise that he loves trotting. In 2017, Finley was part of the team competing in the fancy dress competition at the Royal Windsor Horse Show – the theme was Toy Story and he was dressed as Sheriff Woody riding our fantastic horse Victor who was dressed as Sheriff Woody’s horse Bullseye.