Changing Lives - RDA Stories

Sophie's Story


Sophie has Cerebral Palsy. When Sophie first came to RDA, she was 3 years old, could not walk without a zimmer frame and had difficulty holding herself up. Sophie, now 8, has attended her riding centre, RDA Carine WA weekly for 5 years, only missing 4 sessions due to doctors' appointments. Sophie now walks unaided.

"Sophie wouldn't do the things she was asked - like stretching her hands behind her back. When she's on her pony and asked to put her hands behind her back to try and touch Levi's tail – she does it!"
Tracy - Sophie's mum

Grace's Story

At 18 Grace Bowman is the youngest member of the Australian Para Dressage Squad. An accident in 2002 left her confined to a wheelchair.

Grace's fierce determination and strong positive attitude helped her to regain her independence and resume her passion, horse riding. Grace represented Australia as a young rider in the UK in July 2006 in an International Para Equestrian and Young Rider Competition. She won 3 gold medals in Canada in 2006; successfully competed in the 2007 World Championships as a member of the Australian Para- Dressage Squad.

Grace lives in SA and travels regularly to VIC to train with her borrowed horse, Yarra Valley Mount Battan. As part of the National Squad, Grace will represented Australia at the 2008 Paralympics in Hong Kong. We are proud of her achievements at the Games!

Grace Bowman and YVMB

Tara's Story


Meet Tara Ingerson. Tara was born missing a fundamental part of her brain, the corpus callosum, the brain’s superhighway that connects the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Tara attends Arundel Park Riding for Disabled Inc in Queensland for Hippotherapy treatment sessions with Wendy Mungomery, a registered physiotherapist, a horse handler, 2 side walkers and Daisy the pony.

At present, Tara cannot walk and can't weight-bear without specialised equipment, she needs constant support. Before Tara started with RDA she could barely hold her head up, certainly not sit up by herself, now she can. Read her story...