A Cranleigh woman has marked four decades in the saddle with friends at her local Riding for the Disabled Association.
Surrey Choices customer Linda Stonestreet, aged 63, started horse riding in her early twenties after attending the Lockwood Centre, in Guildford – and has enjoyed the hobby ever since.
The Lockwood Centre, run by Surrey Choices, offers activities including arts, drama, gardening, dance, hydrotherapy, sensory activities and textile crafts for adults with learning and physical disabilities.
Linda, who recently retired from riding, was given an award by volunteers at the Cranleigh Riding for the Disabled Association to mark her 40 years of equine dedication.
She was given a certificate, a carved glass horse ornament and a book of photographs documenting her time in the saddle.
Linda, who currently attends Surrey Choices’ Cranleigh Community Group, said: “I love horses. I used to ride Paddy – he was my favourite. I have done everything from dressage to handy pony.”
Jill Budd, Lockwood Centre day services manager, said Linda’s love of horses was not her only passion.
“Linda has made lots of friends through the riding group,” said Jill. “She also loves lots of other different activities here at Lockwood, including art, crafts, textiles, gardening and horticulture.
“She is also the chair of our local Valuing People committee, where she supports others with learning disabilities. She’s a real character and it’s lovely that her dedication to riding has been recognised in this way.”
Cranleigh Riding for the Disabled Association spokesperson, Sarah Lambert, said: “Linda has become something of an institution in her own right at Cranleigh RDA over the last 35 years with her cheerful and helpful disposition, readiness to chat to everyone, and enthusiasm to get involved in all that RDA has to offer.
“We are so sorry that her riding days are over, but are delighted that she will keep in touch with Cranleigh RDA as a social member.”