Bridgend County RDA is part of the national charity Riding for the Disabled Association. As a national charity we have an army of 18,000 volunteers (and we’re still growing), and assist more than 30,000 participants and have even been the starting point for paralympic gold medals. John's story (video at bottom of page) is a fantastic demonstration of what RDA is about and what we try and achieve.
Over the years we have seen hundreds of children come to us, all with a different need. On the first day the children are nervous and sometimes reluctant to get on the horse. They are in a new environment in a different place, there are new faces and people. This can be overwhelming and daunting. Once on the horse the child may sit there and not interact with the horse or leaders and side walkers, they simply sit there holding on.
Eventually, over time the child transforms into a horse rider who can tell the horse to stop, walk and trot. They become a horse rider who can mount with very little aid and who can steer accurately around the school and through obstacles. The child transforms into a horse rider who interacts with coaches, leaders, side walkers and their horse and will participate in games by trying their best and cheering on the other members of their team. The children become horse riders who can tell you facts about their horse. They do all of this with a massive smile on their face.
Following the sad deaths of both Mr and Mrs Ladbrooke, we had to vacate Longacre Farm, Coity.
We have been located at Pencoed College since September 2010 and we have settled in well. Pencoed College have allowed us the use of their arena and always provided us with horses to use in our lesson, they have also accommodated us and our equipment.
We run sessions in school term time on a Monday and Friday from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm, and individual lessons on a Saturday morning. We give riding lessons to eight local schools, cater for riders from the age of six and we are always looking for volunteers to come along to our sessions to give a helping hand.
We receive no formal grants or funding we rely wholly on financial assistance from corporate or individual supporters to ensure our future. We have a dedicated fund-raising team who help raise money for us to keep running. In order to meet our costs for stabling, shoeing, vets bills, worming etc we need to raise at least £10,000 a year.
Although R.D.A promote carriage driving, we as a group cannot facilitate this activity.
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