At RDA, our horses and ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with special educational needs and/or disabilities all over the UK.
Our network of 500 volunteer groups organize activities such as riding, carriage driving, vaulting and show-jumping to up to 28,000 people each year.
We have been carrying out our life-changing activities for over 40 years, and take great pride in the exceptional standard of our instructors and volunteers (18,000 in all).
We offer activities for all age groups and, wherever possible, to people with any disability, with branches in urban settings as well as rural ones.
The simple pleasure of working with horses is the cornerstone of all RDA’s activities. From that starting point everything else flows – be that freedom of movement, gaining confidence, building relationships, receiving life-enhancing physiotherapy or achieving individual goals.
Medical professionals recognize that there are 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, strengthening core stability, 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 remain active for longer.
RDA mainstream activities are therapeutic riding, carriage driving and vaulting (gymnastics on horseback).
We are regularly asked about hippotherapy which, in the UK, describes physiotherapy delivered via a horse by a specially trained Chartered Physiotherapist. Hippotherapists are scarce and hippotherapy is offered by very few RDA Groups
Each RDA Group is allied to RDA UK but is an independent charity in its own right. This accounts for differences in service delivery and pricing policy.
Cognition and learning, Communication and Interaction, Sensory and/or physical development difficulties , Medical conditions , Emotional, social & mental health difficulties.
Primary, Secondary, Post 16.
Community & Voluntary Sector Service, Education Service, Health and/or Social Care Service , Specialist Educational Setting and/or Outreach Service.