Each week over 4,000 children and adults helped by 3000+ volunteers have an unforgettable experience through their local RDA centre.

Horse riding offers an opportunity for enjoyment, challenge, friendship, laughter, achievement, independence and confidence.

Medical professionals recognise that there are also significant therapeutic benefits for the rider. The warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider’s body, gradually making it more relaxed and supple, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and co-ordination.

Riding offers an element of risk, often denied to many people, especially those who have been affected by an accident or serious illness and offers them the chance to regain mobility and a sense of achievement. People with congenital disabilities discover a new freedom in movement. Those with progressive diseases can retain mobility and activity longer and may take up Carriage Driving when they can no longer ride.

Riding is great fun!
Riding is great fun!

Within many RDA Centres riders are given the opportunity to take part in competitions and many attend the RDA State and National Championships and Special Olympics. Riders also have the opportunity to attend RDA Holidays and Camps.

Achievement at all levels is encouraged and some riders progress outside of RDA to compete internationally.

If you are interested in riding or would like to know where your nearest Centre is, please visit your State page via the map on the left.

Therapeutic Riding

People with disabilities can obtain beneficial results from association with horses. The movement of a horse strengthens muscles throughout a rider's body and promotes better overall health. In many cases, riding has also led to increased mobility for the rider. Horses can also provide psychological benefits to people whether they actually ride or not.

Therapeutic riding begins with gentle exercises performed on horseback. These exercises include such things as leaning forward to pat the horse's neck, leaning backwards to pat the horse's rump and twisting left and right in the saddle. Each rider is assisted by 'side walkers' who make sure that they remain secure in the saddle while performing the exercises. The rhythmic movement of the horses walk can stimulate nerves and the exercises increase mobility.


Recreational Riding

Horse riding is a wonderful recreational activity for anyone.

Recreational riding is riding for the pure joy of being up there on a horse, head and shoulders above everyone else. On horseback, a rider with a disability can overcome fear, gain confidence and achieve success they would not have dreamt of.

On horseback, someone with a disability can be independent, free and in total harmony with another living creature. It's a true partnership based on love, trust and mutual respect

Structured riding sessions are conducted under the supervision of nationally accredited RDA coaches with the assistance of trained volunteers. Sessions make use of mounted games and activities designed to encourage participation and the development of individual abilities.

Some centres use local trails which give riders the opportunity to experience a more natural environment.