R.D.A is a national charity with centres throughout the U.K, all providing riding lessons to those living with a disability. As a charity we aim to teach horse riding and provide the opportunity for therapy and achievement. In addition to horse riding skills our riders build on their mobility, control, listening skills, co-ordination, self-belief and confidence.
Nationally we have over 18,000 volunteers and over 30,000 participants.
The South Wales region has 20 groups covering areas including Aber, Bridgend, Cardiff and Camarthen. Most of our groups offer just riding lessons, however we currently have two active driving groups in Cwmbran and Carmarthen.
All of our groups are supported by volunteers and as a national charity we do not receive any form of formal funding or grants. This means each group relies on fundraising events to make sure they have enough funds to keep running.
Different groups in the region cater for different age ranges, all of our riding groups have access to indoor arenas and some have access to outdoor riding through local lanes on sunny days.
Overall, each group aim for the riders to learn to steer and trot, and teach them basic horse knowledge such as parts of the horse and tack.
Advanced riders may go on to learn pole work, independent riding, stable management and even how to canter. Our biggest aim is to keep the riders happy and smiling as they learn this skill in a safe and fun environment.
In 2009 North Pembs group piloted the ASDAN project, where two children were chosen to complete the ASDAN module for Riding and Horse Care. Mrs Sue Par, the chosen co-ordinator gave good feedback about the results.
"The two children completed the ASDAN module for Riding and Horse Care, each working from home.The fantastically imaginative folders which they produced resulted in both being awarded their proficiency certificates, in May 2009. They worked very hard, inputting considerable thought and effort and gained huge enjoyment and satisfaction."
North Pembs group have had a further 5 riders taking part in the scheme, and hope it is the start of something good.
We are always looking for new faces to join our ever expanding team, whether you can offer a helping hand to your local group in their sessions, or would like to offer your support in fundraising events, or would like contact your local group for more information, a list of our groups can be found here.
In celebration of "40 years of improving lives" National R.D.A released this 10 minute video to sum of the work of R.D.A: