Therapeutic RidingTherapeutic Riding
In Therapeutic Riding the aim is to teach basic riding skills and horsecare, gradually decreasing the level of assistance required; riding is taught but there is also a focus on the specific need of the rider.
Man has been using the horse for work and pleasure from ancient times.
There is a very unique relationship between man and horse. There is an old saying that the outside of a horse is good for the inside of man.
Horse riding is a real rehabilitation of both the mind and the body. Physically it helps to improve balance, coordination, muscle control and posture. In addition, motor planning (getting on and off the horse), decision making, communication, and social skills are all improved in an enjoyable environment.
The rhythm of the horse as it walks provides a multisensory input to the rider which is hard to replicate through other activities.
Some individuals who display challenging behaviour and also some of those on the autistic spectrum find that the horse gives a non judgemental response to their actions which calms encouraging relaxation and thus learning.
Horse related activities such as grooming, leading and learning how to care for the horse can help to develop self esteem and confidence.
Most of all being with horses is fun and a place where riders can learn new skills, often through games working as a team or individually, for example learning a dressage test. There are always certificates to work towards and endeavour awards to encourage progress.
All the sessions are lead by trained coaches who attend regular updates and assessment of their skills through training sessions with other RDA groups in the area. They are supported by the team allocated to each horse or pony; usually a leader and sidewalkers as required. The classes usually have a maximum of 4 or 5 riders.
Want to Ride?
For Therapeutic Riding;
- Complete and return application form with medical section completed and signed by a medical person who knows the applicant. Please note that until the application form is completed and returned you will not be added to the waiting list.
- Read the information attached to the application form carefully.
- Wait for a taster session.
- Get in touch if need help (see Contact Us)
For Therapeutic Riding riders must be a minimum of 5 years of age, and both adults and children can apply.
There is a weight limit of 12 and a half stones (80.64 kg). This is for the welfare of our horses.
Currently we ask for a donation of £10 per person per ride for group lessons or £15 for individual sessions.
Starting to Ride
The Pony or Horse
The pony or horse is specifically selected for the rider according to their height and weight. The rider will be introduced to the pony and helped to mount. Most riders mount the pony from a raised hydraulic platform with the support of coach and helpers.
Sadly we are no longer able to offer this service as our trained Physiotherapist has retired and therefore is no longer registered with the Health Professional Council. However, she will remain as a RDA coach working with riders requiring more individual attention.
We do have a waiting list of riders and the availability of a suitable pony may determine priority. We have a Retired Physiotherapist who carries out assessments on all new riders. She will identify what support or special equipment may be required to assist with the ride.
Ultimately, the aim is to achieve maximum independence for each rider.