A young girl rides a horse, she wears a pink riding helmet. She smiles at her trainer next to her.

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is a volunteer organisation that provides assisted horseriding activities for people with disabilities to develop and enhance their abilities.

Participants are assessed to make sure a suitable program is developed before they ride. Up to two trainers and a leader can assist riders with many graduating to ride independently or even to competition level.

A participant’s doctor must provide consent before any riding session can begin and this needs to be updated regularly.

Safety is important in any RDA activity and strict safety standards are kept. Helmets and appropriate footwear are essential. Many centres provide these. Additional special equipment may be required, however, RDA suggests keeping the conditions as close to natural as possible to encourage the riders to use their own body to achieve a good position.

Some of the benefits to riders are:

• Improved balance and posture
• Promotes decision making
• Motivation and learning
• Encourages reading and speech
• Develops hand and eye coordination
• Development of communication skills
• Memory improvement and concentration
• New mobility and access to new areas
• Social integration
• Mental stimulation
• Increased self esteem
• Learning the value of rules
• Promotion of a general feeling of well-being

 

RDA (NSW) CONTACT DETAILS

www.rdansw.org.au
02 8736 1256

 

Information supplied by RDA NSW

This article originally appeared in the September - October 2019 IDEAS Newsletter.


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