Coffs Riding for the Disabled thriving in its new ‘home’

Coffs Harbour Riding for the Disabled is looking forward to welcoming new riders next term.

THE Coffs Harbour chapter of Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has just completed its first term for 2023, and is looking to increase rider numbers for its next term, beginning on Tuesday 2 May.

Coffs RDA has been active for the past nineteen years and is a charitable organisation that receives no government funding, instead relying on donations and sponsorships.

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Horse-riding classes are run by volunteer coaches who undergo stringent training requirements, supported by horse leaders and side-walkers to provide well-controlled, safe riding for clients.

“We aim to emphasise that RDA is all about riding to develop abilities, building self-esteem, confidence, a connection with our beautiful quiet horses, and of course having fun,” Andrea Stafford, a Coffs Harbour RDA volunteer told News Of The Area.

“The ability, sensitivity and power of horses acts to provide extensions to oneself, helping to overcome limitations and to develop physical capabilities.

“One rider who normally used a wheelchair said that riding horses provided the unique perspective that once in the saddle they could look down rather than always having to look up at others.

“Another non-verbal rider was able to greet and thank their horse after a few months with RDA.

“It is these experiences and more that makes riding for those with physical limitations and/or neurodiversity so special,” she said.

Along with wanting to increase client numbers, Coffs RDA is continually seeking new volunteers to join the organisation.

“We have recently moved from the Valery Horse Trails site to an alternative property nearby at 804 Valery Rd, Valery, a glorious setting overlooking the ranges.”

These new facilities include a custom-built arena, and ablution block with accessible toilet.

There is an annual membership fee that includes insurance, and a nominal cost per session for clients.

Volunteers and those seeking to ride can email or visit the Riding for the Disabled Association Coffs Harbour and Districts Facebook page.


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