Riding for the Disabled Association

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things 

Doug Smith - ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Volunteers are at the very heart of the success of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), and are the glue that binds every aspect of the charity together.

Every year, Volunteers’ Week (June 1-7) provides a chance to celebrate the amazing contribution that is made by ordinary people from every walk of life who give up their valuable time to benefit others.

But, as a recent RDA report found, volunteering doesn’t just benefit the participants but has a huge role to play in tackling loneliness and mental health, helping people gain more perspective and become less inward focused.

Meet the 50 Faces Breaking Down Barriers

RDA 50 Faces Campaign

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is celebrating 50 years of achievement, therapy and fun through horses with a stunning online collection of portraits and stories from all over the UK. 

Designed to challenge preconceptions about disability, volunteering and the world of horses, 50 faces is a celebration of the brilliant, fearless and pioneering people who make up the RDA family.

Right from the start, RDA has helped to open up the world of horses to everyone. The charity’s radical mission in 1969 that ‘no disabled person who could benefit from riding shall be denied the opportunity of doing so’ was the start of a quiet revolution that is still breaking down barriers today. 

Tapping into the Therapeutic Benefits of Riding

Two horses ready for riding

Tapping into the Therapeutic Benefits of Riding with Accessibility Mark

Barnfields Riding Stables based in Chingford, London is looking forward to welcoming more disabled riders to take to the saddle, thanks to Accessibility Mark.

Located near the popular horse riding locations of High Beach and Epping Forest, Barnfields Stables offer lessons to riders of all abilities but specialise in novice and nervous riders.

Owner Natasha Burke decided to apply for accreditation after finding details of the joint scheme between the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) and the British Equestrian Federation online.

Accessibility Mark aims to provide riding schools with the knowledge to confidently deliver sessions to disabled riders.

Princess Anne Launches 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association

Princess Anne Launching 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association

HRH Princess Anne Launches 50th Anniversary Tartan for Riding for the Disabled Association in Scotland

A new tartan has been produced by Lachcarron of Scotland in celebration of 50 years of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) providing therapy through horses.

The tartan was launched at an anniversary event in Edinburgh by RDA President, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal. The Princess met with volunteers and participants from around the country and was presented with her very own RDA tartan scarf by brothers Andrew and William McLeod.

Riding for the Disabled Association Calls on Government to Tackle Loneliness and Mental Health Issues through Volunteering

Riding for the Disabled Association Volunteers

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) is calling on the government to prescribe volunteering as a method of tackling loneliness and mental health issues.

Following a survey of 1,629 volunteers, RDA is marking its 50thanniversary by launching a report on the impact of volunteering on health and wellbeing and the benefits for both RDA participants and the volunteers.

The report was presented at a Parliamentary Reception in Westminster, hosted by MP for Cheltenham, Alex Chalk on February 6, with the charity calling on the government to recognise the dual benefit that volunteering brings.  

50 Faces Campaign - Meet Phoebe Boyce

Phoebe Boyce

To celebrate its 50th anniversary year in 2019, Riding for the Disabled Association is marking the milestone through its 50 Faces campaign, telling the stories of some of the amazing people who make RDA the extraordinary organisation it is today. 

Designed to challenge preconceptions about disability and volunteering, and to celebrate the diversity and inclusiveness of RDA, 50 Faces features a collage of portraits, as well as the surprising and often moving stories of horse riders, carriage drivers and volunteers from all over the UK. 

50 Faces to Celebrate 50 Years of RDA

50 Faces to Celebrate 50 Years of RDA

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Riding for the Disabled Association - RDA - is launching a ‘50 Faces’ campaign to highlight the fantastic achievements of its members, volunteers and supporters.

The focus of the campaign is on challenging preconceptions about disability, volunteering and equestrian sport, through the inspiring stories of people within RDA. 

These stories will then form an interactive collage of images, audio content and films, which will be used as a focal point for the RDA website and across social media platforms throughout its 50th anniversary year in 2019.

Long Lane Equestrian Centre Gains Accessibility Mark

Accessibility Mark

Long Lane Equestrian Centre, based in Derby has signed up to a national scheme, Accessibility Mark, to encourage more disabled riders to take up horse riding.

Following an appeal by the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) for more centres to apply for the Accessibility Mark accreditation to help meet demand in the North Midlands area, the centre decided to jump on board. A study by the RDA found that this region has the highest level of unmet demand amongst disabled riders than anywhere else in the UK.

The RDA, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

Kirklevington Riding Centre Encourages More Disabled People To Take To The Saddle

Riding for the Disabled Association

Kirklevington Riding Centre, based in Yarm, has become an Accessibility Mark accredited centre after meeting the criteria set out by the Riding for the Disabled Association.

The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)., in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

A British Horse Society (BHS) approved centre, Kirklevington has been established for 38 years, providing riding lessons to two generations, from total beginners to riders looking to work towards a qualification.

Achieving Inner Greatness with Accessibility Mark

Achieving Inner Greatness with Accessibility Mark

At the end of 2017, Hall Place Equestrian Centre based in Reading gained its Accessibility Mark accreditation.

Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participation programme, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

Hall Place was delighted to receive this recognition.  Riders with special behavioural and physical needs have been riding at the centre for over 35 years and the Tilehurst RDA Group ride at Hall Place weekly.

Inspirational riding programme kickstarts 10 year hobby for Bristol siblings

Inspirational riding programme kickstarts 10 year hobby for Bristol siblings

Two siblings are celebrating a decade of being in the saddle, thanks to an inspirational riding programme that opened the door to a fantastic new opportunity. 

Accessibility Mark centres are assisting charities to inspire disabled people to participate in new activities, helping them to realise their potential and succeed beyond their perceived limitations.

Riding for the Disabled Association, in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participation programme, launched the revolutionary Accessibility Mark scheme to work with commercial riding centres with the aim of getting more disabled people to participate in riding.

For some this opportunity ignites a passion that leads to more than just attending a riding centre for an occasional group lesson.