EQUINE Therapy is proving a huge hit with riders at Raymond Terrace’s Riding for the Disabled.
The charity has centres all over Australia and has been providing experiences for over 50 years.
The Raymond Terrace centre supports clients from a wide geographical area, including Port Stephens and the Bay.
The centre is NDIS (National Disability Insurance Service) registered, meaning that those with the relevant funding can use it for Equine Therapy.
Contrary to some recent media reports suggesting that the NDIS is funding horseriding, this is not riding per se but a specially tailored intervention designed to promote confidence, communication, improved gross and fine motor skills and core strength, amongst many other benefits.
People with all types and levels of disabilities are accepted into the RDA programs, including but not limited to those with Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Epilepsy, Hearing Impairment, Vision Impairment, Spina Bifida and Multiple Sclerosis.
There is a weight limit though, which is about 75kg.
The Raymond Terrace Centre also offers Hippotherapy – an intense physical therapy – with a physiotherapist in attendance.
This allows people to develop their balance, coordination, strength and posture, as well as providing psychological, speech, language and cognitive benefits.
Janet Hudson, Treasurer of the local RDA, told News Of The Area, “Parents have tears in their eyes, seeing their children do things they never dreamt they could do.”
“Anything to do with horses is generally expensive and this charity gives those with a disability, who may otherwise not be able to afford or have access to equine recreation, the chance to take part.”
The centre is always needing funds to support the upkeep of the horses and their vet bills.
One of their main fundraisers is their ‘Share a Horse’ project.
A great idea for a birthday or Christmas present, for $30 a year, you can sponsor a horse of your choosing, receive a certificate, details of your horse and a bi-monthly newsletter.
Details are available at http://www.rdaraymondterrace.org.au.
With a long waiting list, the local Centre is always looking for more volunteers to assist.
Those who may be interested are asked to email Judy Edwards on email@example.com.
By Sarah STOKES