(Updated April 2017)
Henderson Riding for the Disabled are in need of some new facilities. Having only the outdoor grounds of Henderson Valley Pony Club, we are at the mercy of the weather, which means frequent cancellation of sessions.
Cancellation of a riding session disrupts any continuity of the physical therapeutic benefit, plus it makes it more difficult for those riders with learning difficulties to remember lessons. Skilled volunteers who have made themselves available are sent home and our valuable RDA trained horses are left standing in the rain. We usually have to cancel all of term 3 because of wet grounds and cold wet weather, and many other days besides. An indoor arena facility would mean we can ride whatever the weather.
Our indoor arena would be specially designed for disability accessibility. We could then expand our services to provide for more people with special needs. We already have a large waiting list, and there is a high demand for this service in West Auckland.
Good for everyone
The grounds on Henderson Valley Road are home to both the Henderson Valley Pony Club and Henderson Riding for the Disabled. These two organisations have been working together for over 40 years to provide quality equestrian instruction to Waitakere riders – both able-bodied and disabled.
Pony Club provides training and facilities for young people to learn to ride and care for horses. As is often the case in Waitakere, weather and ground conditions vary throughout the year and the ground is often saturated with water for weeks on end, forcing the pony club to close the grounds for riding.
An indoor arena would provide a facility that can be used in all weather and be beneficial to RDA, Pony club and other community groups as well.
2001 Fundraising begins ($100,000 raised to date)
2003 Committee is formed for Joint venture between HRDA and HVPC. Establishment of a Trust put into motion.
2006 HVPC withdraws from the project.
2007 – 2008 HRDA gets agreement from HVPC to go ahead with project independently. Plans drawn, neighbours consulted.
2009 Two problems arise:–
1) Two neighbours have objections to a change in their view,
2) HVPC reject any change in lease arrangement.
2011/12 Feasibility study undertaken.
To view the report, click here: HRDA Feasibility Study FINAL REPORT
The key findings were:
HRDA provides a valued community service for which a clear need has been established. HRDA is constrained by the current arrangement of operating on land leased to Henderson Valley Pony Club. Any significant developments will require resolution of this via a formal and more equitable long term lease arrangement.
2012 HRDA requests a change to the lease at Henderson Valley Park, to be split into two leases so that the two groups can operate side by side and share land and facilities. HVPC again rejects any change in lease arrangement.
2013 – 2015 Henderson Massey Local Board suggest HRDA shift to Massey Pony Club site, a committee was formed to develop a plan for a Sub-regional Equestrian Centre at Te Rangi Hiroa Reserve. Feasibility Study completed. MPC withdraws from project.
2016 New discussions are held between HRDA and HVPC regarding splitting the lease.
March 2017 Henderson Massey Local Board priorities in Auckland Council Draft Annual Budget include supporting HRDA in finding a home.
Watch this space!