Riding Develops Abilities

RDA (NSW) Ryde is a social community full of people united through shared experiences, love of horses and a desire to help and care for others, building lifelong relationships.

Riders must have consent from their Doctor and are assessed by our Coaches prior to commencing so that a suitable individual program can be developed. Some riders are assisted by up to two trained helpers and a leader and may graduate to riding independently and some to competition level.

There are strict safety standards in RDA (NSW). Riders are required to wear helmets for horse riding and horse-related activities as well as correct footwear. Special equipment is occasionally used however RDA (NSW) attempts to keep conditions as close to natural as possible to encourage the riders to achieve a good position through the use of their own body .

Amber & Calvin

“I enjoyed volunteering and helping with feeding, mucking out the stables, grooming, learning how to saddle my horse, etc. I have made many friends at the RDA and really enjoyed the social interaction with the other volunteers.”

Read More about Amber here


RDA (NSW) Ryde Centre offers therapeutic riding, designed by our RDA (NSW) qualified Coaches to develop and enhance the physical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning of children and adults with disability.

Research has shown the movement of the horse to have a positive effect on the symmetry and tone of the muscles. Riding involves all of the muscles in the body and in addition, stimulates body systems.

The horse is a social creature which will readily bond with humans. The horse will accept a rider with no pre-judgment. They immediately return kindness and affection and will respond to the rider’s commands. This bonding has been found to be basic to the development of communication.

Jessica & Sparkle

“A few years ago I started learning dressage and it is a challenge for me because I have to think about which way to go. After the class I am very tired because I am using my muscles, which is good therapy.”

Read More about Jess here

Hannah Dodd

Hannah started riding as soon as she could sit on a horse. Her mum Phyllis even became a coach at RDA (NSW) Ryde Centre! At only 20 years old she competed at London (2012). She began wheelchair basketball in 2015 and competed at Tokyo (2020) with the Australian Gliders! Watch this video below from 2010 where Hannah talks about her story and journey to her first Paralympic Game!

Further Information:

The Plaid Horse. (2020, July 30). Horse Riding A Powerful Aid For People With Disabilities. https://www.theplaidhorse.com/2020/07/31/horse-riding-a-powerful-aid-for-people-with-disabilities/

del Rosario-Montejo, O., Molina-Rueda, F., Muñoz-Lasa, S., & Alguacil-Diego, I. M. (2015). Effectiveness of equine therapy in children with psychomotor impairment. Neurología (English Edition)30(7), 425–432. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nrleng.2013.12.017

ZADNIKAR, M., & KASTRIN, A. (2011). Effects of hippotherapy and therapeutic horseback riding on postural control or balance in children with cerebral palsy: a meta-analysis. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology53(8), 684–691. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03951.x

TheSheaCentre – Hippotherapy Ride Along: Visualizing How Equine Movement Benefits Clients:

Equestrian Canada Équestre – Para-Dressage Webinar: Human Impairments and Equine Paces: