What We Do
The riding sessions take place on two mornings a week at Chestnuts Riding School in Pyecombe, just outside Brighton. Ponies and horses are provided by the riding school.
Our riders require a lot of support and care. The group is funded solely by donations or legacies and is run entirely by volunteers.
It is well recognised that riding can have many benefits, physical, mental and even spiritual, for a disabled child or adult. Apart from an increase in body and core muscle strength, balance, coordination and posture can also be improved.
A rider can respond to the warmth and nearness of a horse by relaxing and showing a decrease in muscle spasm. Also walking can often be improved by feeling and following the three dimensional movement of the horse, said to be similar to that of the walking pattern of a human.
Working with an RDA group can be immensely rewarding. To see the sense of achievement on an adult`s face as they ride solo for the first time or manage a rising trot after many weeks of struggling, is heart warming. Or to see the smile of a severely disabled child when they cuddle their pony makes it all worth while.
A horse is often used nowadays as a therapy for dysfunctional families and troubled individuals. Sometimes a child with autism finds it easier to form a relationship with a horse than with a human. We have witnessed this in our Group, and it is touching to see how a child can form a deep connection with a pony.
Our sessions take place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10am until 12pm typically during school term time. There are three sessions each morning, lasting 40 mins each. Our participants disabilities include multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke, hearing and sight difficulties, post traffic-accident trauma, and many others.