Group photo from rda

RDA Programs

Horse Riding Lessons

Fun, Freedom & Fitness!

Horse riding lessons can be conducted for an individual or in a group of people with disabilities depending on the needs of the client and the style of operation of the Centre. The emphasis is on fun, freedom and fitness while the added benefits are physical, intellectual and psychological development.

Riders at RDA develop their own unique goals and ambitions in conjunction with their Coaches, parents, teachers, volunteers and horses. A standard session at RDA includes:

  • Getting to the Centre, finding and putting on your helmet
  • Greeting your team (Coach, leader, side walkers and horse)
  • Mounting
  • Warm-Up – practice stopping and going, steering, rider stretches.
  • Activities – mounted games, trail rides, trotting, literacy and numeracy skills to name a few.
  • Cool Down
  • Dismount
  • Thank your team
  • Remove your helmet.

This process is all undertaken with complete supervision and as much assistance as is required by the rider.
Some riders begin their riding careers building the core strength required to sit up tall for long periods of time. For many riders the unique benefit of attending RDA is the silent co-operation of the horse and the diligent support of their volunteers. Sitting (or lying, as the case may be) upon a horse allows riders to partake in a complex and intense sporting activity, but removes the need to physically move themselves through space.

One of the major reasons horse riding is so effective is that the movement the horse conveys to the rider mimics almost exactly the movement of the human body at a walk. In essence it allows people who find walking under their own steam either impossible or highly fatiguing/difficult to have a prolonged “walking experience” on the back of an RDA horse.

The development of a relationship with a large animal is also highly conducive to developing good social skills. The need to control ones emotions and behaviour for the benefit of the horse is a starting point to develop wider emotional and behavioural control.

Many of our riders have experienced crucial improvements to their lives due to interaction with horses. Riders who have been non-verbal find themselves uttering their first words to their horse, due to the strengthening of core muscles, RDA has allowed some riders to begin walking under their own steam, or qualify for botox treatment to release tight muscles.

For some of our riders, horse riding becomes their sport, something they participate in competitively. For these riders, the opportunities are there for local, State, National and even International competition. Most para-equestrians start their careers at a local RDA Centre in their country.

The RDA experience is positive, progressive and interactive.

The core of our program – the horse – is a unique character whose ability to unlock their riders hidden talents and abilities is nothing short of amazing.

Come in and see us to discuss your needs.