Research - Past Projects

State Research Projects

RDAV Spearheads a Global First in Therapeutic Riding Research
The largest randomised controlled trial ever attempted on the benefits of Therapeutic Riding was recently completed in conjunction with:

  • Riding for the Disabled Victoria (RDA VIC)
  • Melbourne Royal Children's Hospital (RCH)
  • School of Health & Social Development at Deakin University (DU)

To assess the impact of 'Therapeutic Riding on the Quality of Life & Functioning of Children with Cerebral Palsy' between 4–12 years

Deakin University and Royal Children's Hospital

  • recruited and assessed 90+ children
  • measured outcomes of the study

RDA VIC organised:

  • suitable venues
  • enough horses, coaches and volunteers to support sessions
  • 2 x 10 week programs
  • $150,000 study grant from Hugh D.T. Williamson Foundation

Every aspect of the time from the child's arrival to their departure was planned to maximise the experience:

  • to fit boots and helmets
  • to chat to parents about their goals for their child or changes that noticed after several sessions
  • to stretch on the barrel before mounting if needed or practice walking with improved posture after the dismount

Children demonstrated a range of physical, social and emotional changes and were:

  • better able to control their horse
  • off the leading rein, start, turn and stop
  • stay in rhythm at the rising trot
  • stand in the stirrups for long periods of time

This research project clearly demonstrated that:

  • RDA successfully produces a safe professional program
  • Children participated in a therapeutic riding program that significantly enhanced their life

"Julia is now riding her tricycle without help"

"I cannot believe the difference in Lachlan's self esteem"