The Northern Ireland Region of the Riding for the Disabled is the busiest of the 18 in the UK. For over 40 years the charity has allowed disabled riders and drivers to achieve great, and sometimes unexpected, success through equine sports. 1000 participants in 28 groups ride and drive all over Northern Ireland and are ably assisted by almost 1000 volunteers. The charity works directly with 18 care centres, 40 schools and individuals to help those who can benefit from the therapy riding and driving offers.
No matter the level of participation in any of the RDA disciplines, the benefits to health and wellbeing can clearly be seen and the work done enriches the lives of everyone involved. Physically, they range from building muscle tone to improving balance. By creating a sense of achievement and increasing self-confidence, attitudes and moods show both short and long term improvements. These benefits are all thanks to one of the few outdoor activities available to the disabled community.
Every year 300,000 participants throughout the UK discover through the RDA just how much they can achieve. Would you like to be part of it?
Your local group can be found here. Please get in touch with them if you want any more information on what might be involved. Groups ride at least once a week, some have evening and weekend sessions which can tie in with working hours. Each RDANI Group has a fully qualified Instructor, assisted by dedicated volunteers to lead or walk beside the horse to support the rider. Experience in the area is not necessary as full training would be provided.
RDANI is part of a UK-wide organisation comprising some 500 volunteer groups throughout the country. Each group delivers real and lasting therapy to its riders and drivers, which not only benefits mobility, coordination and confidence, but does so in a fun and enjoyable way. The Riding for the Disabled Association in Northern Ireland would love to hear from you if you would like to be involved in any way!