Ebony’s Blog: Life at The Shelley Centre

What exciting news we have up here! HRH The Princess Royal is coming to see us. She had planned to visit the centre in April to mark our 30th birthday year but you can guess what happened to that. Nobody could have expected her to try to re-schedule a visit so soon but her team has picked us out for a Covid-era trial event on September 11. We are so honoured.

A Covid royal visit is a bit of a low key affair with only 30 people allowed to participate. The humans have decided to ask a few very long-serving riders to come and meet her; some long-serving volunteers will be there too. There won’t be any cake!

As you can imagine, the centre is being given a blitz. I’ve had all my parts polished, Babs has had a wash-down and the spiders have been told to leave. The volunteers are back and learning the new systems for keeping our riders as safe as we can. My photo shows a joint training session for the Monday and Friday teams on the first day of term in early September.

Despite the uncertainty about getting all our riders back, Lynn, our mum, has brought a new gelding into the herd. He will be strong enough to replace dear old Bob who suffers from arthritis. The new chap is a palomino welsh cob, 14.2 and only 10 years old, known as Roddy to his friends. We hope he has a long and happy time with us here. Lyn says he likes to be cuddled, the big softy. My photo shows him watching and learning about the activities in the yard.

Our humans have been so busy making safety arrangements for all our participants. There is a one way system in place. Rather sadly only the volunteers may come into the yard. Parents and carers will be expected to stay in their cars for the time being. This means I shall be unable to listen in to the gossip but hopefully, by the time I write the November blog in early October, we may have been able to relax some of these measures. I’m told it’s really important to keep avoiding a crowd, to keep up the good hand washing, and to be careful of other people’s space.

My next blog may have some photos of Princess Anne with me. So exciting! See you in November folks.

www.shelleyrda.com / 01473 824172

Shotley and Erwarton WI

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