Firstly thank you to everyone who came forward as part of our trawl for the pilot programme for a dressage mentor type scheme - the aim being to facilitate support between DCUK clients and friends.
We had an impressive number of mentor forms returned, all with superb ideas, thoughts and views on what was needed and what you thought could make a difference to the dressage experience we all have. Having taken on board views and spoken to a number of our clients and friends who were keen to help, the pilot is now concluded and we have a way forward.
In short, what's important is the way you feel when you do what we do - the desire to feel supported, friendship and not alone when going out to compete, train or even ride day to day. This was especially important for those who ride alone or who have horses alone, as well as those who, for whatever reason, end up going out alone to training events or competitions. I am hugely keen on creating only what is required and much as I have professionally seen formalised mentor programmes work superbly, its clear that something that detailed isn't needed in this instance.
To this end, I am pleased so say that the trial with DCUK Dressage Buddies (a closed group within Facebook) has been the most popular option for everyone we have spoken to. It can give support, be a network, allow for competition discussion dates, offer support and answer questions. Its a Ronseal moment - it will does exactly what it says on the tin - be that Buddy we want.
I am also thrilled that so many are asking to join and look forward to watching how the support develops - DCUK Dressage Buddies is still in its infancy but its close to my heart in terms of delivering support to our clients and friends. There is no cost, there is no downside, all there is, is the opportunity to feel the friendship, loyalty and kindness of others linked to DCUK.
A new scheme designed to further develop and support those who ride for pleasure.