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Riding for the Disabled

Riding for the Disabled

The group:

  • Wyre Forest Riders RDA is a registered charity - Registration Number:  1155109 – with a board of 11 trustees. The group is a member of the National  Riding for Disabled Association and is fully insured through them.
  • The group is run entirely by volunteers –nearly 30 people who give generously of their time and energy to ensure that we ride for 30 sessions in a school year and to raise the funds necessary to pay for the hire of ponies and the riding school (about £6000 per year.)
  • Wyre Forest School supports the sessions by providing transport and supervisory staff for the pupils. Member of staff, Emma Salt is the organiser of the group at the school end of things and she liaises with the childrens’ teachers and support staff in the process of the needs analysis required to determine which children ride each term.
  • Parents of riders make voluntary contributions to the costs when they are able to do so, but most of the funds are raised through events, sponsorships, local community groups and applications to charitable trusts.
  • The trustees take full responsibility for ensuring compliance with all relevant legislation and with the recommendations set out by the National Riding for Disabled Association. They also take the roles of officers, volunteer management, planning and oversight of all fund-raising activities.
  • All volunteers have been DBS checked and have essential training in child protection, health and safety and the practicalities of helping the riders during lessons.
  • The group currently has 4 trained instructors who have all been accredited by RDA UK and 2 trainees just starting their training.  
  • All volunteers have regular refresher training and we have 6 qualified First Aiders in the group.

Where do we ride?

We are lucky to have be able to ride at Stourport Riding Centre which can provide us with all the ponies of different sizes and temperaments we need as well as having an indoor school for use in all weathers.

The benefits:

The physical, emotional, social and learning benefits of horse riding for disabled children are well documented and set out the Wyre Forest Riders  web-site and on the web-site of RDA National These benefits are too many and varied to set out in detail but include the following:

  • improvements to core strength, muscle development and flexibility for physically disabled riders
  • development of confidence and self-esteem for all riders
  • improvements in social skills and self management for children with disabilities including autism, attention deficit disorders, attachment disorders and other emotional development disorders.
  • opportunities to learn new skills and to re-inforce key skills taught in school
  • opportunities to achieve
  • The children work for Endeavour Awards and Proficiency awards to levels suitable for their needs. They are given badges and certificates for successful completion of these.
  • Assessments by the RDA instructors and Wyre Forest School staff confirm that all the riders demonstrated physical and /or learning progress from their Riding activities.

Who rides?

  • The riders all attend Wyre Forest School and are selected each term by school staff who undertake a needs/benefit analysis.
  • We have 2 sessions each week for 10 weeks each term. The first session is mainly for children with the most severe learning needs and the second is for those children who can benefit from stable management /pony care element of the session.
  •  During the 2014-2015 year 37 different children rode, some for a full session rather than half a session. Some rode for 2 or 3 terms rather than 1  - this is decided by school staff based upon childrens’ individual needs.

What do we need from parents of riders?

If your child is riding please make sure that they come to school:

  • With sturdy shoes – preferably with a low heel – not flat soles, sandals.
  • Loose fitting trousers -no skirts, shorts or tight trousers
  • Warm clothes in winter – although the riding school is covered it is open at the sides!

If you are able to make a voluntary contribution towards the costs that would be very helpful.