Please go to http://ponyaccess.com/ , my new website covering the saddlechariot/iBex and it’s uses. This is where you will also find links to all my articles on training, safety, vehicle design and even the weird stuff on cooking and politics.
My new contact details are firstname.lastname@example.org
and my phone number is +44 7510 736 518
Bank robbers have lookouts, castles have towers for lookouts, ships have crows nests, cars have a bloody great window in the front so you can look out. Looking out is central to Safety. Stop Look and Listen when crossing the road. You get the picture, looking and safety go together.
For an organisation working with Horse Welfare, safety has to be paramount as an accident will injure the horse. Working with the Disabled and Horses, safety is paramount because it can’t be more paramount.
Looking is therefore central to the activities of World Horse Welfare and Riding For the Disabled.. Looking out to see if there are new hazards and looking out to see if their are new SOLUTIONS to hazards.
World Horse Welfare (WHW) and Riding for the Disabled (RDA) deliberately avoid looking at new ideas which make things safer for their target market. This statement suggests that RDA and WHW are deliberately endangering the people and animals they claim to look after, so maybe I had better produce some supporting evidence if I wish to survive, which I do.
World Horse Welfare first.
In 2009, I was approached by Rachel Hahn to give a demo with the Saddlechariot and Obama, my pony, at a private yard in Norfolk. Rachel suggested she could get WHW and Parelli and John Parker of the British Driving Society (BDS) to come along.
Here is the part of the email sent to me 13.9.09, (all emails in full are attached at the end) which describes the demo scheduled for 26/27.9.09.
You have probably already received the copy of the message I left with Charlotte Ridgway to post for the ESNH (Essex and Suffolk Natural Horsemanship). Imagine, World Horse Welfare (formerly known as ILPH) has indeed phoned me back, well, not the whole organisation but a very nice lady called Sally. She even had a look at your webpage and was very impressed by your invention. The very first thing the mentioned was how safe the chariot seems to be! Now, she cannot make a decision whether I would be allowed to use a saddlechariot on the ILPH ponies I have on loan – she has to ask her boss, who will be back from holiday tomorrow. The good news is that I know her boss, Tony Tylor, quite well, and he knows me (it helps that I know the previous Chief Executive of the ILPH, Mr Smales, really well … J). Told you I have connections …. J. Anyway, Tony is supposed to phone me in surgery tomorrow and fingers crossed, he will be happy with my plans. I have even invited him or anybody else from World Horse Welfare, to join us, for free, of course (I am such a nice person). So, now I cannot think of anything else I can do to publish the week-end and to make it interesting for people. If nobody turns up then nobody turns up and you, Obama, me and my husband Michael will just have fun! Yippeeeeh!
On 18.9.09, ie 5 days later, I received a panicky phone call and this email.
I am so upset! World Horse Welfare has forbidden me to use the saddlechariot on my ponies. Fullstop. I tried to phone you a few minutes ago but there was only an answermachine (I left a message). I have to cancel you and Obama for next week-end. I want to talk to you and I will try to phone you again tomorrow, or maybe you could phone me on XXXXXXXXX or my mobile (which I do not always carry with me (XXXXXXXXXX). I am adding to your list of being mistreated by a horse organisation! I am so sad.
Speak to you soon.
On the phone, she told me she would lose her ponies if the demo went ahead, and she certainly would if she got a saddlechariot. I could not swear to what was said on the phone call, but then I was spitting blood. I had one chance to show what the saddlechariot could do for safety to an establishment organisation, and maybe a chance to rejoin polite society, and become someone my family weren’t permanently embarrassed by. That chance had just gone. However I confirmed my memory is not at fault when a friend contacted WHW to ask if the Saddlechariot can be used with their ponies. This is the reply.
World Horse Welfare neither endorses or opposes the use of Saddle Chariots.
At this time we do not allow their use on World Horse Welfare ponies as we re-home under very strict use criteria. This is based around what the horses and ponies have done at our centres and therefore what we know they are capable of.
At this time the farms are able to re-home to companion, ridden and traditional driving homes depending on the animal in question.
With over 1700 horses and ponies out on loan to check and over 300 in our centres we simply do not have time to a. assess the Saddle Chariot and b. to train our staff in its use. Therefore we do ask that our horses and ponies remain doing what has been agreed to on their loan agreements. To date only one of our borrowers has enquired about its use.
If the Saddle Chariot were to become widely accepted and approved by driving organisations we would consider if there was a need to introduce this to our work. At this stage we are not aware of any classes at registered events that would allow its use.
As already stated we neither endorse or oppose the use of Saddle Chariots and it is up to individual owners to assess the suitability for their animals.
The lady who Rachel Hahn talked to is also called Sally, “a very nice lady called Sally. She even had a look at your webpage and was very impressed by your invention. The very first thing the mentioned was how safe the chariot seems to be! “
So on the 13th of September, the Saddlechariot is safe, and a good idea, and WHW have an invitation to see a demo, for free, not on their animals, not on their land, and they think it is safe.
By the 18th of September they have threatened to remove the ponies of a supporter and friend of the chief executive and made the Saddlechariot the ONLY vehicle in the world that you can’t use with their ponies because they haven’t time to look at it.
What has happened in the intervening 5 days? They had an invitation, the reason for this whole attack on the Saddlechariot is that they were invited to see it, so they ban it because they haven’t got time to look.
As the inventor, etc of the saddlechariot, I know that NOBODY talked to me or looked at the Saddlechariot in those five days. I know that nobody in any reputable Horse Organisation has ever officially looked the Saddlechariot.
On what basis do WHW make their decisions. Clearly they don’t look, so can they be safe? Are they a fit and proper organisation to look at safety. On the strength of this, I would suggest the answer is no, and I therefore advise people NOT to trust WHW advice on Safety, as they are clearly incapable of providing safe, safety advice.
Now let’s look at Riding for the Disabled.
Riding for the Disabled have a long and distinguished history of not looking at the Saddlechariot. They have been not looking at the Saddlechariot since December 2000, or at least that is the first documented instance of them not looking at the Saddlechariot..
They wrote to me in February 2001 to inform they had discussed the Saddlechariot in December 2000, “and the Comittee felt the saddlechariot was not a project it should become involved in.”……….. “As has been previously stated the RDA is moving towards larger ponies and there are aspects of safety which do cause concern.”
Now this implies a number of things, first that they have looked at the saddlechariot. How else would they be able to say there were “aspects of safety which do cause concern”. This also implies that safety is important to them, yet they are moving to larger ponies, and larger ponies are heavier so what is the safety aspect that means they want to move to larger animals.
But the next communication for RDA proves that of course they don’t look. This first email was a lie designed to shut up an irritating bloke, who., at the request of his local RDA, had built a vehicle for a boy with Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy, which the boy liked, his grandfather liked, and I was pretty pleased with the design. But by screwing around and telling lies they managed too avoid looking at the vehicle until the boy I had built it for, was dead. Even then, they refused to look.
But I don’t give up that easily, and I suggested that RDA were lying through their teeth and I wanted an apology.
So this is what I got.
An admission that the RDA are liars about the most basic safety matters, ie whether they have, or have not looked at something.
On a personal level, this was deeply damaging, and offensive, but it calls into question RDA’s competence to advise on safety. On the basis of my experience, I consider RDA to be incapable of making rational decisions on safety issues. Refusal to look at the evidence is such a basic failing, it cannot be allowed.
And so we come to 2009 and a friend with Polio, or to be more precise, post polio syndrome, who contacted the RDA
Dear Riding for the Disabled
Since becoming disabled I can no longer ride. Knowing that my disability means I can no longer ride has been the hardest thing about accepting my disability. A friend suggest that I could drive a horse or pony and I am very excited about this idea.
I wonder if you could help me with some information on a suitable vehicle.
I have heard of something called a Saddlechariot. Does RDA have any information about these ? Are they suitable for my purposes ?
If not could RDA recommend something else ?
I don’t know who to turn to for this information and your help would be most welcome. If you are unable to help me could you suggest some one else ?
I look forward to your reply
Yours sincerely Ms B.A Rox
And here is the reply
Thank you for your enquiry.
I would suggest that you contact the British Equestrian Trade Association who can be contacted on 01937 587 062 or email@example.com
BETA will be able to advise you in more detail on your query as none of our Member Groups use Saddlechariots.
RDA National Office
They also put her in touch with someone who might be able to help, who contacted her
Date: Wed, 26 Aug 2009 11:49:25 +1000
How can we help you?
They know who I am, the Saddlechariot is easy enough to Google, the initial enquiry came from Exeter, England, they put her in touch with BETA, the British Equestrian Business Association, and got an organisation called Pegasus to contact her. Pegasus is based just outside Canberra in Australia’s Capital Territory.
This is a continuation of the RDA policy of not looking at any safety issue. BETA is a trade body of which RDA is a member and therefore they are well aware that I am not. So they have deliberately sent a disabled lady with a valid question, to an organisation that can only refer her back to RDA. The Australian organisation that RDA referred her to, referred her back to RDA. RDA refuse to answer her question because that would involve looking at the Saddlechariot and the Bannedwaggon.
RDA’s refusal to look contravenes the most basic Safety rules. It suggests they are not a fit and proper body to be allowed to work with the disabled or with animals.
World Horse Welfare have the same philosophy. Again it suggests they are not a fit and proper body to work with animals or people.
I can prove the saddlechariot is safe and kind to people and horses. I have been making them for 10 years.
I can prove the Bannedwaggon follows in this tradition. I have driven around Hyde Park, solo, from a wheelchair in the Bannedwaggon prototype. To test its strength and safety, I drove it from Exeter to London, along all types of terrain, camping en route, with no backup team. From Exeter to Thatcham, Newbury, I had a friend to help. The last 60 miles I did solo.
Princess Anne is patron of WHW and of RDA, or was. Here is a picture of her looking at a Saddlechariot at the Royal Cornwall Show.
She was polite and interested, though when I tried to follow up this interest with a very polite letter, I received NO reply. Why?
The two organisations of which she is Patron refuse to look at something she was happy to look at. WHY?
Looking is central to safety. Why do these organisations who claim to be interested in safety, refuse to look? Safety is a legal requirement. This evidence suggests that WHW and RDA are in contravention of HSE requirements. What are the Health and Safety Executive going to do about this?