Rider Highlight

Amy and Kade

Rider, Committee Member

This is a picture of me on Kade from early 2020. He and I love being a team and he is a great horse, really placid and patient while the volunteers get me on his back at the beginning of my weekly lesson. After I had to stop riding because of COVID-19, I was allowed to ‘hug’ him with help from the person who leads him during my lessons – this was special because we couldn’t hug human friends at the time.

I have Spina Bifida, which means I have limited mobility in my legs among other things. I need to be lifted onto Kade from the mounting platform and then my legs need to be slowly moved into position – I have very tight adductor (hip) muscles so this is painful for me, but as they say ‘no pain, no gain’.

Each rider and horse are paired up specifically with the rider’s needs in mind. Kade is very calm and prefers to be standing still than moving fast, which suits me and the volunteers who help me while I ride. Riding him each week has helped me with stretching my muscles and also with my balance and co-ordination. I can roll over in bed much easier now after his help to stretch my hip muscles.

Kade and I are a good team – we both have four ‘legs’ (I walk with crutches) and we both manage to trip on flat ground! We do different activities throughout the lesson, our favourite is called ‘Stop-Go’ (sometimes Kade takes a few extra steps, but now I know how to make him go back if he cheats).

At the end of each lesson the volunteer who leads Kade during my lesson helps me say hello to him and give him pats, and I usually get sloppy ‘kisses’ on my hands – this has meant I have become comfortable around him and got to know him a bit better. He used to give me a fright if he did something I didn’t expect, but now I know him so know what to expect and know that I am perfectly safe on him. He really is just like a giant puppy dog.

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Founded: 1972 by Pearl Batchelor OAM
Patrons: Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC Governor of NSW and Mr Dennis Wilson

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E. ryde.rda@gmail.com
P. (02) 9868 2223

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RDA(NSW) Ryde Centre
118-120 Culloden Rd,
NSW 2122

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