Monday, 29 November 2010

Riding for the Disabled

Riding for the disabled or RDA is proud to be celebrating 40 years of delivering opportunities for therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities. RDA was founded in 1965 as the Advisory Council on Riding for the Disabled with 9 Member Groups and became the Riding for the Disabled Association.

In 1969 when membership had grown to 80 member groups. The president at that time was Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk with HRH The Princess Anne as Patron.The first RDA National RDA Dressage Championships took place in 1981 and were expanded to include all RDA disciplines with the First RDA National Championships.The Association now has over 500 Member groups which cater for more than 23,000 Riders and carriage drivers.

The way RDA works is that a riding school can apply to be a RDA branch. They will undergo an inspection and staff training until they become an official RDA centre. Whether you are paralysed or autistic, blind or deaf the lovely people at RDA will find a way to get you in the saddle. 

I was delighted to find a Riding for the Disabled centre at my local riding school. I am able to ride a calm, intelligent pony and be taught by a nice and smiley instructor. I love dressage and though reading the arena letters is tricky, I have found a good way of overcoming that problem. I count a beat going between letters and I memorise the letter positions. My instructor is really understanding and she pushes my ability but at the same time doesn't pressure me. Since starting riding I have gained confidence and improved my fitness - I go once a week and it is definitely the highlight of my week. 

I would recommend horse riding to anyone as it is such a rewarding hobby - RDA makes this enjoyable passtime availible to all and what a good job they do!

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