Safety and Bolting.

I have built safe pony powered vehicles since 2,000 and one factor has stayed constant. Riding for the Disabled have refused to speak to me, or discuss my work or look at my work throughout that time. They have also consistently lied about my work since 2,001. I have the files and it is depressing to see the constant attempts to destroy my work, and block access for people who use wheelchairs.

Ed Bracher, Chief Executive of Riding for the Disabled now claims a horse that has bolted, needs to be shot, or kept away from any work for ever. When asked, in 17.5.2017, what Risk assessments RDA used on horses pulling vehicles with people who use wheelchairs on board, Ed Bracher said “We don’t have a specific policy about bolting”.

In under a year Riding for the Disabled have gone from indifference to panic. Why?

RDA know the catastrophic results from bolting horses and vehicles. An RDA volunteer, training horses for RDA driving, lost her leg when a horse bolted through a gateway. Here are her comments on the Pony Axe S system.

I feel that I must write to you to let you know of an experience that I recently had. I am a carriage driver. I have been breaking and driving horses for the last 27 years, about 10 years ago I had a carriage driving accident. After 3 months in hospital and numerous operations I had my right leg below knee amputation. This didn’t put me off driving or horses, it slowed me down somewhat, I still wanted to be involved with carriage driving, but obviously made me very wary about getting in a carriage again. Physically, it was very difficult also, I kept thinking what could have happened if my horse (which bolted) had got into traffic with the carriage still attatched, it doesn’t bear thinking about.

Anyhow, I have had my other mid foot fused because of my Charcot foot, a diabetes related condition, which meant a 4 month non weight bearing period, and a full length surgical boot , which I am still wearing, alas the operation has not worked, and I am booked in for another mid foot fusion, which may end in me becoming a bilateral amputee.

I am still intent on carriage driving, i then see a post on my Facebook feed on the Exeter Mobility Centre Users page about the Pony Access. I contacted Simon Mulholland, and we met up, He ran me through the odd looking, Heath Robinson style contraption.

I can honestly say I’ve never had so much fun with a small pony!

The harness and harnessing system has been thought out by a non horsey engineering mind, but, it really works, and it’s safe! And so much fun!

We spent a couple of fun filled hours, playing with the access for me, which was so easy to transfer from a wheelchair straight onto the cart, i can have the wheelchair ramp to enable me to drive the carriage from my wheelchair, or powerchair with ease, i can do it all myself with no help from anyone if I so wish. It’s also very stable and can easily be driven up and down awkward angles and banks.

The best feature for me is the ripcord. You can disengage the pony from the carriage in a split second, allowing the driver, or helper full control over the passenger safety, allowing the horse to safely detatch from the vehicle.

I feel that i would be perfectly safe with the vehicle, and can’t understand why this design has not been snapped up and not being introduced to the world! I must admit that the traditional driver might struggle with the design and mechanics, but if you give it a go, it all works, and its great fun.

That accident was back in 2005, but her comments were made in a letter to Baroness Campbell of Surbiton, in 2015.

But Ed Bracher may have forgotten 2005. But he should remember Sandra Pochin. Her leg was mashed, and her ribs, training horses for Riding for the Disabled Carriage Driving. The horse bolted through a gateway. Does this sound familiar? The Horse and Hound report is here.

That was in August 2012. Just over a year since Carole Bullett was killed in Bury St Edmunds by a bolting horse and horse drawn vehicle. And in 2012 Dora Jufer died on Sark, killed by a bolting horse and horse drawn vehicle. see Carole Bullet’s death and Dora Jufer’s death .

What has happened in the news to explain why, in 2018, a bolting horse needs “Euthanasing”. This of course is a total misuse of English. The horse will not be “mercy killed” to be spared intolerable pain from an inoperable condition. It will be shot to save Riding for the Disabled from the embarrassment of explaining why “bolting” horses have gone from irrelevant to critical.

The problem for Riding for the Disabled is that Pony Axe S has moved to Scotland. Riding for the Disabled have used their friends in England for years to block my work by lying about my safety. Scotland is a civilised country and access to the countryside is a right, not just for able bodied people, but for everyone. Pony Axe S is helping the process, working with Scottish Natural Heritage and PAMIS to make the countryside accessible to people who use wheelchairs. We take anyone, in any wheelchair, across any terrain in complete safety.

Riding for the Disabled and Ed Bracher cannot afford a discussion about horse drawn vehicle safety and bolting horses, and since they can’t destroy me or Pony Axe S, they try to destroy Perrine.

I will happily take Perrine, and drive her in one of my vehicles from a wheelchair. I will pick a safe location, a nice big field, so if she wants to bolt, she can. My vehicles are designed to let animals bolt. Horses evolved with an instinctive defence mechanism, bolting. I came up with a simple safety system to allow them their instinctive behaviour. Here Obama shows how simple the whole process is, if you care about safety. I do. Pony Axe S does. Do Riding for the Disabled?

You have seen what I do if a horse bolts. What do Riding for the Disabled do? This is a legitimate Health and Safety issue.