Challenging Disability Through Outdoor Adventure

Mum’s dying wish sees horse rehomed at Lake District Calvert Trust centre

A disabled woman who was inspired to take up carriage riding following a visit to the Lake District Calvert Trust has left her own pony to the centre in her will.


Pat Cardew, from Blackpool, first visited the trust’s Riding Centre in Keswick with daughter Penny in 2009.

During the stay horse lover Penny booked her disabled mother a riding session using a specially adapted wheelchair accessible carriage.


She enjoyed it so much that they booked to come back and have another go – after which Pat was hooked.

On returning home Penny started looking for a suitable driving pony for her mum.


After they found Billie, the Calvert Trust agreed to lend Pat an adapted carriage they no longer used. Having a new hobby gave her much pleasure during the final years of her life and, when she sadly passed away recently, after a prolonged illness, her dying wish was to donate Billie to the Keswick Riding Centre.


The horse is now in Cumbria and will soon be helping other disabled visitors.


Staff say they will always be grateful to Pat for her gift and will always remember her as they put the carriage on to Billie for a drive out.


His arrival came at the perfect time for the centre following the retirement of two of its long-serving horses.


Situated at Old Windebrowe, the Lake District Calvert Trust Riding Centre provides horse riding and carriage driving sessions for people with disabilities. As well as those on residential holidays, local people with disabilities and community riders can also use the facilities.


After the retirement of two of its horses, Bob and Bruno, staff were faced with the prospect of finding two new animals to carry on their good work.


The horses and ponies at the Calvert Trust are carefully chosen for their temperament and patience. They undergo a period of adjustment, schooling and assessment before they are used on riding sessions.


Staff say they were very fortunate to find Kirby, a 15.2 hh ride and drive, eight-year-old mare that fitted their job description perfectly.


Pat Cardew & her daughter driving Billie in wheelchair accessible trap


The trust was then given Billie, a 14.2hh ride and drive 10-year-old gelding on permanent loan.


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