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What do you know about RDA?
Riding for the Disabled Association provides opportunities for people of all ages to enjoy a safe, stimulating, healthy, therapeutic and recreational sport.

We would like to tell you more...

Riding for the Disabled Association is:

we are part of a worldwide movement which provides equestrian activities for people with disabilities.

Well established Australia-wide - we have been established in Australia for more than thirty years and now have more than 5000 riders at over 130 groups operating throughout the land, but more are needed. During our 30+ years we have been of assistance to many thousands of riders and harness drivers, but at some centres the waiting list is still as much as two years!


Multi-faceted - as well as horseriding, many centres offer facilities to learn to drive a horse in harness, or to advance to vaulting, mounted games and competitive events such as dressage.

The Benefits of RDA Programs
RDA programs cater for people with intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, injuries resulting from accidents, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, down syndrome, thalidomide, visual and hearing impairments, autism and amputees.

Horse riding is a pleasurable form of physical exercise which therapeutically assists people with a wide range of disabilities.

Horse riding promotes fun, freedom and fitness, as well as helping to improve co-ordination, balance and muscle development. It assists greatly in the development of self confidence, self esteem, communication skills, leadership and trust.

All RDA Centres offer instruction in horseriding and horsemastership. Riders may participate at a therapeutic, recreational or competitive sporting program level according to their needs. Some riders with disabilities participate in dressage competition at the Paralympic Games level.


Many RDA centres offer other options including driving horse in harness or equestrian vaulting - gymnastics using a moving horse.

A developing area of RDA is "hippotherapy" (from 'hippo' - a horse) in which a team under the direction of a physiotherapist or occupational therapist use the horse as a tool to achieve medical goals for the individual person.

Once riders have gained the required skills, RDA can assist in the integration of riders into community based riding programs should they wish to further develop their skills.

Who makes up the RDA team?
Whilst we only have a small part-time staff team, the majority of our helpers are volunteers. We have more than 4000 volunteers, of whom more than 500 are NCAS accredited coaches - trained in horsemanship, horsemastership, safety, medical knowledge, teaching skills, selection and training of horses, and first aid. Many are qualified in other professional fields such as special education, physiotherapy and health services.


An essential part of the team are our horses. We have more than 1100 horses - all requiring fodder, shoes, grooming, equipment and veterinary care.

Another significant part of our team are those who help with financial support. Without continuous funding, RDA cannot accomplish our critical programmes.

Where you come in.....
There is a waiting list at many centres, and we are made aware almost daily that we could be of help to many more.To provide help we need more volunteers, more centres and more money.

  • Volunteers. As well as those helping with the riding and driving programs, there is a constant need for assistance in administration and facilities, special events and fund raising activities.
  • More Centres. Some travelling is inevitable but for people with disabilities and their families it would be great to reduce travel time. New centres in some key areas could assist that process.
  • Money. You could help by making a donation, being a financial member, or by a legacy. DONATIONS OF $2 OR MORE ARE TAX DEDUCTIBLE.

Further Information
  Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia
  Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria
  Riding for the Disabled Association of South Australia
  Riding for the Disabled ACT Inc.

Riding for the Disabled Association

Last Update: 06/02/07 18:17 Views: 1597

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