For the last 40 years, the local branch of Riding for the Disabled has helped people with a disability in the Ballina and Byron shires connect with horses and learn to ride.
This Sunday August 18 from 10amthey will be celebrating this amazing achievement, based on the dedication of volunteers, at their Riding Develops Abilities (RDA) Centre in Teven.
‘The RDA works with people across a range of issues including people with post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), acquired brain injuries, autism, mental health, and those born with a disability,’ said RDA president Peta Best.
‘While many who participate in the RDA program will ride the horses there are also people who just want to come and participate in caring for the animals.
‘The chance to care for and ride the horses helps people in a range of ways including building self-esteem and confidence, physical and spatial awareness, thinking processes, and much more.’
The Ballina Byron RDA began in 1979 at Kerry and David Johnston’s Boulder Beach riding school near Ballina.
Six years ago, local farmer Brian McNamara left the 46ha Teven property to the Ballina Byron RDA as a bequest, giving them a permanent home.
August 18 event
‘The centre is reliant on the goodwill, donations, and grants given by the community. The Ballina RDA Centre has given children and adults from Biala and in those in the community 40 years of therapeutic riding,’ said Ms Best.
The big 40 will be celebrated with the Famous Lone Cowgirl demonstrating her horse-riding skills, an all-day sausage sizzle, free face painting, riding demonstrations, horse stroking, and the not-to-be-missed Horse Parade at 1pm.
So make sure you get along to the farm at 377 Houghlahans Creek Road, Teven.
‘Everyone is welcome to join in our 40th celebrations,’ said RDA president Peta Best.