Riding for the Disabled stages open day

NHPRT-horse-IMG_0993Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) provides access to horses and an experience that many people with disabilities would miss.

Riding for the Disabled is about helping ‘our riders make the most of their unique gifts by providing lessons tailored to each individual’s abilities and with liberal amounts of encouragement, support and fun,’ said Beatrice Gary, president of the Ballina and district branch of the RDA.

This Sunday July 30 the RDA is opening its gates from 10am till 3pm so that you can find out more about what they do, meet their horses and pick up some horse poo for the garden. Entry is $2 per vehicle.

The local branch began in 1979. In 2013 they were bequeathed a 40-hectare cattle property in Teven.

Local farmer Brian McNamara gave them his home Glen Burnie with the wish that the Ballina and district branch should use it to continue providing their services to the disabled community.

With riders coming from Lismore, Ballina, Mullumbimby, Kyogle, Casino, Wardell, Rous, Eureka, Bangalow and many other areas throughout the northern rivers it provides an invaluable opportunity for people to both experience the countryside and enjoy riding and working with horses.

The facility is run entirely by volunteers. Lessons are provided on Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday with most volunteers dropping in one of those days a week between 8am and 1pm – though any length of time is welcome.

‘We could not provide this service without our dedicated volunteers,’ said Beatrice.

If you are interested in volunteering then this is a great chance to get along and find out more. ‘Specific experience with horses or people with disabilities is not necessary,’ said Beatrice. ‘Our existing volunteers can provide training and volunteers can choose to work in areas as diverse as administration, gardening, maintenance, horsemanship, assisting our riders or just helping keep our facilities clean and tidy.’

Find the RDA at ‘Glen Burnie’ on Houghlahans Creek Road, Teven.

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