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Riding for the Disabled





Riding a pony or horse is a wonderful experience that provides freedom of movement with the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors from a completely different perspective.

Imagine the fun!



For some conditions horse riding is excellent therapy and is favoured by Physios’ as a way of strengthening core stability and improving balance.

There are over 500 Riding for the Disabled (RDA) groups in the UK that help disabled children and adults take part and enjoy the thrill of horse riding. 

Whatever their disability!

Each group operates independently and has different equipment and facilities.

Some will own their own horses, land or indoor arenas while others depend on the goodwill of local riding stables.

All groups will have a ramp or platform to help disabled riders mount safely and some may have hoists for lifting on and off the horses.

Carriage riding may also be offered for those unable to sit on a horse.

The carriages have drop down ramps at the rear to give wheelchair users to access to the carriage.

Volunteers provide vital support as an individual may need up to three helpers – one to lead the horse and one each side to help with balance.

All this comes at a price!

The RDA centres are all funded in different ways – some are self funding while others apply for lottery funding and community grants from charities.

Fundraising also plays a vital role to help pay for essential equipment such as riding helmets and to keep the session costs low.



Funding for Individuals

Disabled adults and children may be able to pay for their horse riding sessions from their personal budget (Direct Payments) or from short breaks schemes operated by their local social services.

Charities who provide horse riding as part of their holiday activities:


Birchington Convalescent Fund


Calvert Trust


Camp Quality UK


The Phoenix Children's Foundation


YHA Summer Camps


See also:

Para Equestrian Dressage - Bursaries from British Dressage 




Funding for Riding for the Disabled Groups


Charities who have previously funded RDA Groups:


Axis Foundation – Riding therapy programme at the Vauxhall City Farm


BBC Children in Need – grant to improve facilities for the Muirfield Riding

for the Disabled


The CLA Charitable Trust


The Dorset Community Chest


Essex Community Foundation (Chiron Trust) -Funding towards new stables at Barrow Farm


Marlborough Downs Nature Improvement Area (MDNIA) - repair work on tracks forcarriage drivers - Kennet Valley Carriage Driving Group


Phoenix Children's Foundation- supports RDA groups and individuals for riding lessons, hippotherapy and specialist equipment


Postcode Animal Trust


Quartet Community Foundation (South West only) -  purchase of a ramp and platform to help disabled riders safely mount horses (Drummer Branch)


Round Table - Local Round Table groups support a large number of community groups and events.  For example the Heswall Round Table funded riding helmets for the Barnston RDA 


Sport England – Sporting Legacy grants/Get Equipped programmes


Star-Trust (East Midlands only) -provided funding for the Wenlo RDA in Leicestershire


The Wisley Foundation (Surrey only) - funding a pony for Hippotherapy


To find other community funding look in the Community Grants section and register with Funding Central for funding updates.










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