Park Lane Stables RDA (PLS) in Teddington, is one of the few remaining urban stables in London, run by Natalie O’Rourke MBE, a small team of RDA coaches and an army of volunteers. The charity started in 2016 & its objective is to uphold the RDA ethos, "It's what you CAN do that counts.
Using specially trained ponies, PLS offers therapy sessions including assisted riding, horse care, carriage driving and hippotherapy, to children and adults for whom life offers additional obstacles. Participants come to PLS with a wide and complex range of physical, sensory and learning disabilities and mental health issues and our purpose is to make a positive and tangible difference to their fitness, core strength, balance, confidence and communication skills, ensuring their needs are met in a kind, welcoming & nurturing environment. We also provide social opportunities for family members & carers, as well as a place for carers to seek counsel & support. PLS is a truly inclusive experience for patrons & horses via the teaching of natural horsemanship, welcoming individuals, groups from disability charities and special needs schools, as well as receiving referrals from all over London and further afield. It puts the most vulnerable in society into a fun & engaging environment where everyone is treated as equal.
The charity is an integral part of community life, getting actively and regularly involved in local church events, school fetes, visiting schools, old people’s homes and grating wishes and bringing smiles to children in hospital. We work closely with RDA UK, referral organisations and participant families to assess our clients’ needs and how best to support them. Progress is monitored & fed back after each visit to help build an overall developmental picture and every bit of progress in celebrated. For some it is small steps measured in a smile or a noise, for others it is sitting up straighter in the saddle or holding the reins correctly. Some individuals require one to one support, others require the help of 3-4 volunteers, but the aim is to positively encourage participants to achieve success and maximise their potential. It’s all about celebrating and focusing on what an individual can achieve and ensuring they always leave happier than when they arrived.
A wonderful example of the joy provided by the sessions on offer at Park Lane Stables
25 amazing therapy ponies are at the heart of the magic PLS creates for its participants and their health and welfare is of paramount importance. PLS is so grateful to Equine America for providing nutritional advice and tailored science-based supplements to ensure they are in tip top condition to carry out the vital work they do. Working together will also provide exciting educational and horsemanship opportunities for our participants, to help inspire them to achieve their full potential.
Natalie O’Rourke MBE, Manager of Park Lane Stables RDA, commented on the partnership:
‘We are so thrilled to be working with Equine America and we can’t wait to see the positive impact their input will have on the welfare of our magical team of ponies and on our volunteers and riders. We are incredibly grateful for their support and hope this partnership will help highlight the incredible benefits that being around ponies can have on humans and that there are opportunities to succeed in the equestrian world, no matter what your background or ability.
The first delivery of Equine America supplements for Park Lane Stables showcased by two of their wonderful members!
Park Lane Stables Standards/Quality Marks
- The Charity was awarded Health Charity of the Year 2021 at the Sun's Who Cares Wins Awards
- We won RDA Carriage Driving Group of the Year 2021 & became National champions in 2022
- Natalie was awarded an MBE in the Queens New Years Honours list at the beginning of the 2022 in recognition for the work PLS does for disabled people and for her incredible fundraising achievements to save the stables from closure in 2021
- PLS received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service on June 2nd 2022 in recognition of the incredible work of its volunteers without whom the magic created at PLS couldn't happen
- Registered with Fundraising Regulator 2021
- Accredited RDA & Pony Club Centre 2016
Equine America's Nutritionist Deborah Leabeater with Park Lane Stables' Natalie O'Rourke MBE discussing the Park Lane Stables ponies' diets and nutritional needs.