New helmets make sure Hastings Group RDA can continue with therapeutic riding lessons

New helmets make sure Hastings Group RDA can continue with therapeutic riding lessons

Hastings Group Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) recently received $1,085 from NZCT. With this grant the organisation can purchase new riding helmets in accordance with the latest health and safety requirements.

Hastings Group RDA provides therapeutic riding opportunities to facilitate the training and rehabilitation of disabled and disadvantaged people in the Hawke’s Bay area. Every week, they welcome 40 children between the ages of 2 and 18 in their covered arena.

Ruth Holmes has been the Centre Manager of Hastings Group RDA since 2005. “To retain our operational certificate and affiliation to the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association, we must provide riding helmets to the latest NZ Pony Club standard. In 2016 these standards were reviewed and our current helmets, although only three years old, no longer meet the standard and must be replaced by the 1st of August. Thanks to NZCT we can buy these new helmets and continue to provide safe therapeutic riding lessons for children.”

Ruth Holmes still enjoys her work every day. She concludes that organisations such as NZCT are really important to maintain and improve Hastings Group RDA. “It gives me satisfaction to help children reach their goals. There was for example a little boy who came to Hastings Group RDA when he was three years old. He couldn’t walk back then and specialists said he would need an operation to change that. The boy started riding here and that made him confident and strong. He learned that he could overcome challenges. As a result of this he started walking. And now, at the age of 5, he runs everywhere without any operation! This is what I, together with all the volunteers at Hastings Group RDA, work for,” says Ruth.