Back in the Saddle again

Richmond Group Riding for the Disabled has received a grant of $15,000 from the New Zealand Community Trust towards an annual salaries for an assistant coach/horse coordinator, farm manager, and head coach.

President Robyn Hurford says, “We require funding towards the cost of our staff's wages, so that we are able to continue to provide our much needed service to those in our local community who will gain so much from being involved in our therapeutic riding programme.”

“Richmond RDA was established in 1978 and since then we have helped hundreds of people who face the challenge of disability to experience the benefits of horse therapy. Our mission is to develop confidence, independence and well-being for people with disabilities through therapeutic horse related programmes. We provide a unique experience for people, many of our clients have multiple disabilities.”

We currently ride five days a week Monday through Friday. We employ professional, experienced coaches who consistently undertake regular upskilling to provide an effective individually designed programme for our riders and to train our volunteers to enable them to assist with enriching the lives of our riders.” “RRDA does not receive any government funding, therefore the NZCT grant will enable us to employ qualified professional coaches and to continue serving the community, as it is now a requirement of NZRDA for us to employ trained coaches at all times.”
President Robyn Hurford

RDA improves health and wellbeing outcomes for people experiencing disability, or who have specific challenges or needs. Each year, we provide life-changing opportunities for more than 3,000 children and adults in local communities throughout New Zealand.

Therapeutic Horse Riding is a proven therapy that develops, improves and/or promotes many aspects such as: balance and co-ordination; muscle tone; concentration; self-discipline and self-esteem; perception and spatial awareness; communication and social skills; independence and encourages decision making.

We welcome and assist people of all ages. A person may be referred to us in several ways, including word of mouth or referral from a health, recreational or teaching professional. A rider may refer themselves

The Hawke’s Bay is where it all began, with the very first Riding for the Disabled (RDA) in New Zealand, being a sub-group at the Pony Club in Waipukurau. It was formally introduced to New Zealand in 1962 and New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA) was formally established in ten years later.

Today, NZRDA is made up of over fifty affiliated groups groups from Kaitaia in the north and all the way down to Invercargill in the south. All RDA groups are incorporated societies and independently financed and managed. The NZRDA is the umbrella organisation providing standards, training, certification and support.

Our RDA groups are primarily run by volunteers, but some groups employ paid staff. Positions vary according to the needs and resources, but generally groups will have people on management committees and others working directly with riders, for example, coaches, therapists, leaders, and sidewalkers.

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