Riding with the RDA
The aim of the RDA is to provide the opportunity for riding, vaulting and carriage driving to disabled people who might gain benefit to their general health and well-being.
Over 500 Member Groups of the RDA in the UK provide facilities for riding, vaulting and carriage driving for over 30,000 people with developmental problems, learning difficulties and other disabilities.
However the RDA advises that riding, vaulting and driving are not suitable for anyone who has uncontrolled Epilepsy, Arthiritis in the acute phase (including Still's Disease), Multiple Sclerosis during the acute phase, unhealed pressure sores, Brittle bone disease, severe Kyphosis and Scoliosis.
- Experienced riding instructors teach the disabled riders, vaulters and drivers with the help of qualified physiotherapists and occupational therapists
- Knowledgeable helpers handle the ponies and are allocated to each rider to ensure safety, maintain balance and instill confidence.
- The RDA requires every Member Group:
- - to seek informed medical information prior to participation
- - to select suitable ponies/horses and take good care of them
- - to maintain high standards of safety
- The RDA has a comprehensive insurance policy
The physical challenge and mental stimulus derived from riding, vaulting and driving bring the rewards of:
- improved co-ordination, balance and muscle tone
- a feeling of independence
- a sense of achievement leading to greater self-confidence and happiness
- newly found capabilities beginning to take precedence over long-accepted disabilities
- improved physical and social skills.
The relationships that develop with the Group are often the first steps from a sheltered life to the world outside. This widening of horizons may arouse further interest in equestrian, countryside and other activities.