Riding With Us
Our riders have a range and combination of physical and learning disabilities; 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 are able to achieve with the RDA awards scheme meeting nationally recognised goals, both for riding and for horse care when helping their pony on the ground. 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 pony.
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 be therapeutically used for 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