I first started volunteering at RDA Ryde in July 2017 when a friend brought me along to volunteer. I had only minimal knowledge of disabilities and no experience working with children, let alone how to handle horses!
My first day started with my friend introducing me to the Coach of the day – the wonderful Kaye. I started out small; I helped with the gates, put out lunch for the horses and would muck out the yards or sweep the walkways.
Each week I would come back and would watch, listen and learn about the regular rhythm and routine of the centre. I’d ask questions about how the days worked and slowly got to know all the riders, horses and volunteers.
In no time, and with plenty of encouragement, I was learning how to interact with the horses, starting with the basics like side-walking and grooming.
Since volunteering at RDA Ryde I have made lasting friendships with both volunteers and riders, fallen in love with the horses, and learnt so much more about living and learning with a disability.
Our Coaches foster personal growth and development, not just for our talented and determined riders, but also for us volunteers. We are encouraged to voice our thoughts and ideas, question and learn, and most importantly laugh and have fun.
Founded: 1972 by Pearl Batchelor OAM
Patrons: Her Excellency The Honourable Margaret Beazley AO QC Governor of NSW and Mr Dennis Wilson
Get In Touch
P. (02) 9868 2223
RDA(NSW) Ryde Centre
118-120 Culloden Rd,