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Research - Current Projects


National Research Projects

1. International Therapeutic Riding Research Survey - 2010

International Research Study into the 'Effects of Therapeutic Riding' is designed to produce evidence-based research to support parents & professionals claims that equine-assisted activities/therapies (EAAT) can assist children with special needs

Therapeutic horseback riding is used as a means of physical and psychological therapy for individuals with a very wide spread of developmental, neurological and behavioural disorders. While great strides have been made over the past 15 years, there is little evidence-based research in the field that supports therapeutic riding as a viable alternative therapy.

Samantha Case is a graduate university student in USA and the granddaughter of Mary and Lyttleton Gould, founders of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Connecticut, one of the top riding centres in USA.

Are you an RDA parent or do you know one?

Samantha is asking for RDA parents input for her current research project to 'help determine whether or not equine-assisted activities have any links with aggression and social competence in children with special needs'. Many NAHRA Accredited Centres (USA) and RDA UK Centres have already agreed to participate. Samantha would like to include RDA Centres in Australia.

Samantha has already carried out a pilot survey with parents of participants of a therapeutic riding center in the United States in an attempt to determine whether or not equine-assisted activities had any links with aggression and social competence in children with special needs. Her results, despite the small response, were phenomenal and have prompted her to continue this line of research.

Samantha is distributing a survey for parents of children and adolescents 17 years of age and younger to complete. This survey is now accessible as an online form and she is asking parents worldwide to complete it. The survey will only take about 15mins to complete and no personally identifying information is asked for so that confidentiality is maintained.

Samantha's would like to receive 1,000+ responses from participating countries (i.e. Australia, UK and USA) and hopes that this study will produce evidence-based research to support passionate parents and professionals' claims that equine assisted activity can assist children with special needs.

The more parents who participate in this international study the more powerful the outcome. The online survey is now available online. Please click to access online survey.

Thank you for your participation in this important research survey.

2. National Worming Research Trials

RDA has been invited to participate in a research study to investigate the presence of resistant worms in Australia, and the efficacy of a number of newly formulated drenches for horses.

Participation is voluntary and cost-free to any RDA Centres who wish to participate in this important research study. All test kits, postage and drenches will be provided free of charge. Participating centres will be notified of their results and any relevant information pertaining to the findings from the study. This could lead to gaining valuable information about what sort of worms are present on Australian properties, what they are resistant to, if anything, and perhaps the best products for future drenching plans on farms. If your RDA Centre is interested in being involved please contact us.