Over the past weekend was the Annual Coaches Conference, with 120 attendees and a range of sessions, all encompassing this year’s theme of ‘Growth through Learning’.
Sunday 12th November 2023
Sunday saw sessions from Dr Zaza Johnson Elsheikh focusing on The Elephant in the Room (exploring how communication is essential in addressing sensitive issues), which ran alongside a networking room with demonstrations from the Society of Master Saddlers on restitching and reflocking a saddle, a Special Equipment stand with Sue Mack, RDA Special Equipment Advisor and Q&As with RDA Coaches and Staff. Professor (Dr) Tony Ghaye followed with a session on Overcoming the Five Thieves of Confidence. The first day concluded with Danny Crates (one of the UK’s most decorated Paralympians) who spoke about his journey following his accident, through to his Paralympic success and encompassed into this his Five Key Elements to Success. Danny then presented the RDA Advanced Coach Certificates for those coaches who took part in the Princess Royal Coach Academy and successfully passed all parts of their assessment and the RDA Coaching Awards, congratulations to the winners of these awards:
- New Coach of the Year: Lauren Webb from REACH RDA
- Young Coach of the Year: Hannah Spring from Stratford Upon Avon RDA
- Coach Mentor of the Year: Emily Thorpe from Cranleigh Group and South Downs Group
- The Extra Mile Award: Vicky Garside from Leeds Area RDA
- Coach of the Year: Anneli Jeynes from Mount Pleasant RDA
- Newly Qualified RDA Advanced Coaches:
- Andi Bruce – Grampian & Highland
- Frances Cape – Edinburgh & Borders
- Lorna Clark – Grampian & Highland
- Peggy Douglas – South West
- Isobel Gowers – East
- Alex Henderson – Grampian & Highland
- Alison Humphrey – West & Central Scotland
- Clare Pettitt – East
- Sally Waumsley – East
- Laura Winter – North
- Holly Croft – South East
Monday 13th November 2023
Monday took place at the National Training Centre where the delegates began with a session on how to develop Endurance sessions with RDA Endurance Lead, Gilly Roper. The session saw riders & horses from Stratford-Upon-Avon RDA Group demonstrate a 1km ride and then horses and riders from the National Training Centre showed a canter session to display how to take a horse’s heart rate and the recovery rate of different horses.
Following this the delegates were split into groups to observe sessions with Doug Smith on Social Licensing & Equine Welfare and a Saddle and Bridle Fitting demonstration with the Society of Master Saddlers. Finally, the day concluded with a Conscious Coaching Session ran by RDA Advanced Coaches: Karen Thompson, Karen Glasgow, Mark Cunliffe & Sarah Healing where they ran an interactive session on building resources for RDA walk sessions.