Testimonials From Riders & Volunteers

On the behalf of our staff and students who attended the Horse Riding session on 14th June at Samford Show Grounds, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was a wonderful day for everyone. The parents, children and teachers were thrilled to witness the children strive to attain new skills and to meet new challenges. There are a few moments in teaching which, after 32 years, reach the level of “unforgettable”. The Horse Riding experience however, was just that. Some of the students you met and supported that day, have significant challenges in terms of their health and learning but particularly in terms of self-esteem. When everything you do is difficult, it is hard to maintain a brave face and to keep one’s self esteem intact. The experiences you provided, with those magnificent horses, were nothing short of magic. I believe that those students felt heroic and were obviously proud of themselves in a new-found skill. Never doubt, that you, your team and horses provide something very special indeed. You gave wings to some little hearts and rekindled the fire of belief in oneself that day, with your gentle encouragement and explicit teaching. We can’t thank you enough!

Jessica Erickson, Tracey Daly, Bernie Ryan & Judy Kelly
St Josephs College

This is the 2nd year our son Edward has been riding with Crowson Park and his lessons are always the highlight of his week. The volunteers are not only extremely kind and pleasant company, they are also great fun. They go out of their way to make each lesson interesting and pleasurable. The horses are always well groomed and in a very good condition, as are the grounds and facilities. We thank everyone at Crowson Park for your kindness, courtesy and dedication. We appreciate it so much.

Sue and Wayne

Reading the Cerebral Palsy newsletter, I was made aware of RDA and the opportunities it gives people with disabilities. I decided to make contact as I thought this would be a great program for my son, Ben. Ben is nine and has Cerebral Palsy. At the time Ben was having difficulty finding something he enjoyed. School was becoming more and more difficult and his behaviour at home was hard to manage. Since starting at Crowson Park April 2014, Ben is a changed boy. He is a happy child and has found something in life that belongs to him. While his brothers play football, Ben has his horse riding. His behaviour has improved and he looks forward to his riding day. The program is amazing and it incorporates balance, strength, coordination and instils confidence in the riders. Ben’s concentration has improved as well as the use of his right hand. The volunteers are fantastic and give much needed support and encouragement. The program is well managed and safety is their number one priority. When we ask Ben why he loves going horse riding, he tells us “horses are my friends”.


Samford RDA has changed my life! The horses help so, so much with my anxiety and my team of coaches and volunteers mean so much to me. I feel as if horses give me the freedom I need and if it wasn’t for Samford I wouldn’t have been able to follow my dream. It feels as if even though I don’t own horses, the ones I ride are mine.


Finding Samford RDA when we did just over four years ago has turned out to be a lifesaver both for my son Andrew and for the whole family. Andrew is now 47 years old and has Down Syndrome. Up until 8 years ago he was very active and rode his push bike for miles (kilometres) every weekend. Then he developed a type of dystonia which made bike riding and in fact walking almost impossible. He hated using a wheelchair and his loss of independence sent him into a deep clinical depression. Then we found Samford RDA. Horse riding the perfect new sport for him. The coaches at RDA were professional and encouraging, the volunteers were patient and accepting and a cup of tea in supportive company saved my sanity. Andrew now rides without a leader and has won ribbons and trophies in RDA dressage competitions. I recently mentioned to Andrew that I would like to learn to ride and he said “Mum, you couldn’t do it, it’s very hard you know, you just have to watch me.


I would like to thank you for your help in making my dream of representing the state of Queensland in Equestrian at the National Special Olympics in Melbourne October 2014 a reality. I am very excited and very proud of my achievements so far. I am honoured to be representing the state of Queensland and I am hoping to do well in the Nationals. View Sarah's actual letter here: Sarah’s Thank you Letter (PDF)