Through the commitment of volunteers, RDA enables people with disabilites to ride or carriage drive to benefit their health and well being and to achieve their goals.
Riding offers a degree of independence that many disabled people cannot have in their daily life.
There are also medical advantages - the warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider's body, gradually making it more relaxed and supple, reducing spasticity and improving balance, posture and co-ordination. The movement of the pelvis influences the lumbar region and is transferred up the spine thus encouraging control of the trunk and head. Riding a horse makes mobility possible. From the elevated position on its back, riders have an opportunity to see more than would otherwise be possible for them.
The experience our riders gain through the contact they have with our ponies also helps to create a great sense of achievement and confidence. We hope that this will, in turn, make their lives easier and more fulfilled.
Cranleigh RDA (a Member Group of the National Riding for the Disabled Association) was 40 years old in 2007.
Today with our ten ponies, around 150 volunteers are involved in giving rides to 220 adults and children, from an extensive area around Guildford and Cranleigh and stretching south into West Sussex. More than 10 schools and care homes send people with all sorts of disability to enjoy riding. They have opportunities to do dressage at Hickstead and take part in Regional Fun days and we know that riding greatly enhances their quality of life by expanding their capabilities and offering challenges they can achieve.
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