North Region
County Durham

At the Riding Centre for Special People we are proud of our dedicated team of skilled staff with varied experience working within equine related activities and therapies to benefit all. All our Instructors are Riding for Disabled Association (RDA), Association of British Riding Schools (ABRS) and British Horse Society (BHS) qualified.

• Christine Barratt – Atkin Proprietor RDAGI
• Nicky (Nicholas) Atkin – Proprietor Site Facilitator
• Claire Walker - Senior Instructor RDA Coach
• Jorunn Gluyas - BHS Stage 4

Our team have combined skills, ability and knowledge working with and developing beginners, returning riders, skilled riders and disabled riders.

Christine Barratt - Atkin Proprietor BA Hons Ed RDAGI
Christine is a former teacher who founded the riding therapy centre in 2007 along with husband Nick. They saw this as an opportunity to combine their love for horses and working with people of all potentials to share the benefits of working with animals. Christine teaches riding and carriage driving as well as skills in art and music. “I enjoy my job because every day is different .I love seeing individuals in our care grow and develop in self-confidence and independence and the positive affect that the activities and environment that we provide has on them." Christine is also Chairman for Durham and Tyne Wear North Region Riding for Disabled (RDA)

Nick Atkin Proprietor
Nicky has a wonderful rapport with our clients and is often the "class clown", making everyone laugh! He enjoys working with our clients around the farm and taking them out and about. He is also a good taxi driver but insists on listening to one radio station only!! His skills and knowledge within equine enforce safety working with horses and people.

Claire Walker RDAC BHS 2 ABRS
Claire is our senior riding instructor and yard manager. She has worked at the centre since we started in 2007. She is an enthusiastic and dedicated instructor with a talent for teaching people with disabilities. She is also very competent in working with non-disabled riders, assisting them to achieve high levels of riding competency. "I find the work here enjoyable, very rewarding and fulfilling. I enjoy teaching riders and carriage driving, meeting different people’s needs and helping them improve their skills. The centre is a very important place for some of our clients."

Jorunn Gluyas - BHSA 1
Jorunn was initially a volunteer at our centre, assisting with disabled riders. Jorunn is a University student who is highly qualified in teaching riding - she has BHS Stage 3 and AI. Jorunn has taught in riding schools in London, the North East and America. She currently teaches riders of all abilities on a Saturday and is very passionate about teaching.

Jane Wood - BHSA 1
We are lucky to have Jane teaching riders on a Saturday and tuesday nights. Jane is a very experienced instructor - very well qualified and has great relationships with all our riders. Jane is keen to develop dressage for all our riders and sessions in stable management. She is also keen to organise competitions and fun events for all our riders.

Louise Hirst - RDA Coach & yard worker

Visiting staff are also employed to take art and craft activities and local approved coaches are used to facilitate sporting activities.

Volunteers We have a strong volunteer base that assist with riding and carriage driving activities. Volunteers are the unsung heroes of our centre. Our volunteers provide an invaluable service.

If you would like to
volunteer and join our team, please contact the centre for further information - 01388 604637

We are host to the
Wear Valley Riding for Disabled Association (RDA). We are very privileged to host and work with the Wear Valley RDA. Click here for more details.
Riding Centre for Special People 2014 © Computer Insight
Riding Centre for Special People Ltd

" There is something about the outside of a horse, that is good for the inside of a man ”, Winston S Churchill
What our visitors say:
Tom - attends four days a week. "
My favourite horse is Ellie but I good at riding Conker and Jess. I like helping get the horses ready for lessons and harnessing up Molly for carriage driving. I really like dogs and help care for the dogs at the centre and the puppies when we get some to puppy walk."
Interesting facts:
Horses have bigger eyes than any other mammal that lives on land.
Where we are
Get Involved
Wear Valley RDA