Farnham Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) are based at stables near Alton. We ride on Friday mornings during school term times.
We give riding lessons to approximately 25 children from two Farnham schools, the Special Needs Unit within The William Cobbett School and The Abbey School. We have two sessions each Friday with a riding class from each school. The children ride in a rota, so we can accommodate the number who wish to participate.
RDA is dedicated to making a real and lasting difference to the lives of disabled people enabling them to ride to benefit their health and wellbeing and to achieve their goals. It gives added confidence and a real sense of achievement to our riders who quickly overcome any initial worries and respond positively to their ponies and to their helpers. Our group has child riders because of the facilities and the size of our ponies available but there is a mixture of Groups around the country who can offer support to all ages.
Our running costs are kept as modest as possible, but we do need to pay rent, buy special equipment, hats, boots and games that can be played on horseback. Each year we try to arrange for some of our riders to attend a residential riding holiday run by national RDA and we need to pay the fees for this.
We groom the ponies and tack them up ready for when the children arrive. Each child needs a minimum of two helpers, sometimes three, one to lead and be responsible for the pony and the others to walk alongside helping the rider. We do need helpers who are able to walk briskly and sometimes run for short distances when we trot as part of the lesson. You don’t necessarily need to have any experience with horses or ponies as we will train you.
Our children really do gain so much from their riding. They learn all kinds of skills and experience things that cannot be taught in a classroom. The volunteers have fun too! You learn new skills, make new friends and become part of a team that can really help make a difference.
If you would like to know more, please contact us here.
Farnham Group, Riding for the Disabled Association Incorporating Carriage Driving
Charity Number: 1161404
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