Epsom RDA

Riding With Us

As we currently have a long waiting list of participants who wish to ride with us we are not accepting any further applications for riding spaces at this time. This situation will be regularly reviewed with any updates posted on this page.

Our riders have a diverse range of physical and learning disabilities, or a combination thereof; some have yet to start school while others are drawing their pensions. Riders attend from a variety of community settings such as specialist schools and charities, and also attend individually.

Our riders enjoy achievements with the RDA awards scheme, meeting nationally recognised goals, both for riding and for pony care. Riders will also achieve goals within their sessions, which can be anything from riding in an external dressage competition to being brave enough to just get on the horse.

The physical benefits of riding have been discussed since 400BC by Hippocrates. More recent research has confirmed the positive impacts of riding; see Our Impact

The horse’s walking gait is the same as a human’s, so by sitting passively on a horse a disabled rider can gain an unparalleled simulation of ‘normal’ pelvic movement; riders are able to develop strength, balance, flexibility and improved movement as a direct result of riding. Horses can also enable therapeutic exploration of a rider’s emotions and interactions, encouraging non-verbal communication.

Our goal at Epsom RDA is to ensure that all our riders achieve while having fun.

Our riders say...

….when you’re on a horse and it’s walking about it almost gives you confidence that you can walk around and not worry. And if I can put it this way, you almost like leave the disability outside the door and it doesn’t touch you because the horse comes with you and says I’m here. We almost look after each other and just engage in the movement. The whole empowerment thing is just lovely.”

Caroline, Adult Rider 

Being in a place where anything goes and not having the continuous feeling of having to ‘fit in’ to a mainstream world. The feeling of arriving, the flowers, the horses, the people and the peacefulness. In the early days I used to sit and watch. I felt so peaceful. It was a haven for my mental health.”

Sarah, Parent of Rider