Benefits of Riding With Us
At Cotswold RDA, we know the incredible, profound effects that simply being around horses can have on people with disabilities. The therapeutic, health and emotional benefits are well-documented and can, quite simply, be life-changing.
Riding provides a particular form of physiotherapy that is extremely beneficial to disabled people with the potential to dramatically enhance daily life and can address physical issues such as:
- increase core strength
- the need for healthy levels of exercise
- muscle stiffness or spasms
- pain and concentration difficulties
For us, making sure our riders are given the opportunity to achieve their goals is one of our most important principles, our Tracker system shows us real information about how each rider is progressing over the course of a year with us. The Tracker is based on 6 main principles relationships, horsemanship, communication, confidence, physical changes and enjoyment – each rider is regularly scored on each category between 1 – 5 which then allows us to build a picture of how everyone is doing and thus allows us to focus on specific areas to develop if required. Certainly, medical professionals recognise that there are significant therapeutic benefits for the rider, the warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider’s body, gradually making it more relaxed and supple, strengthening core stability, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and co-ordination, and the Tracker can certainly prove the outcomes of our work.
These benefits impact not only activities at Cotswold RDA but in other settings and areas of their lives such as school, home or work, read below some of our heart warming stories that demonstrates the impact that riding has given.
Riders can also work toward four national RDA proficiency tests that monitor increasingly difficult riding skills and horse care knowledge. In 2017 we have introduced ASDAN qualification TIN47 in Horse care and stable management. ASDAN is a pioneering curriculum development organisation and awarding body offering programmes and qualifications that grow skills for learning, skills for work and skills for life. Attaining such a qualification can make a huge difference in determining a career path.
Riders also have the opportunity to compete in competitions and particularly look forward to the RDA National Championships at Hartpury College in Gloucestershire where we achieve excellent results.
St. Gregory’s School Story.
Our first Sensory Afternoon was launched in early May 2016. 7 children from St Gregory’s School in Cheltenham came along to experience for the first time what they thought of this activity. This is their story, told by their teacher at the school.
In the 4 months since my daughter, aged 6, began coming to Cotswold RDA we have seen an incredible change to her confidence and outlook.
Lee is a 30 year old young man who has a disability which only affects 1 in 5,000 babies born in the UK. Lee has had to cope with operation after operation since the age of 3 months (27 in total).