J is a friend of E's and they met through Riding for the Disabled (RDA). Even though J has very mild CP, her more pressing difficulties are in social, developmental and behavioural aspects. I wanted her to participate in something that not only helps develop her physicality, but her sense of self.
In school and in other areas of life, J comes last in pretty much everything and she is very much aware of this. I really believed that RDA would help counter this. I knew of RDA, because my mother was a paediatric physiotherapist, who used to extol its virtues for children with ASL. I also used to volunteer with RDA before I had J, so I was well aware of the benefits this could bring to a young person.
J loves her weekly riding session. She loves the horses and the actual riding. It gives her such joy and confidence. I wish they could provide lessons every day!
J's RDA lessons cost £6 per half hour session, but this may vary depending on each RDA group.
RDA is available to all kinds of disabilities, from CP through to children with autism. To apply please refer to the RDA website, but note you will also need a letter from your doctor stating how/why your child will benefit from RDA.
Unfortunately, they do tend to have waiting lists as they are very much dependent on volunteers. The volunteers are fantastic, coming in all ages and from all walks of life. They have a training schedule, where the experience instructors teach volunteers on various areas, such as the best way to lead a RDA horse and the best way to walk alongside the horse/child. RDA is always on the lookout for volunteers as this directly affects the number of children who can benefit from RDA.