Our riders are able to progress with goals through the natural therapy of the horse's movement. We aim to improve the riders' motor skills, including picking things up; we assist in improving their core strength; improve their coordination through games, their speech improves as all riders need to be able to communicate with their horse. Also their confidence and self esteem grows, all this leads to the chance of a more independent way of life.
All the participants, all with different strengths ans weaknesses, can support each other in a number of ways. RDA helps adults and children to benefit from learning to live and work together, laying the foundations for an inclusive society.
RDA benefits to young people living in the Territory
Youth who are exposed to domestic violence and abuse have an increased risk of becoming future offenders. Taking these young people out to activities such as RDA can break the cycle, growing respect for other people and their community and culture.
Aboriginal kids participating in the program are nominated by their schools or youth-related service providers.
The program monitors the children’s school attendance and behaviour, helping them get back on track if there are any problems at school. Through teaching life-skills, self-respect, self-confidence and giving encouragement along the way, kids are aided in completing their courses, thus becoming role models to their peers.
Xander has been riding at RDA AS for 3 years, when he started the 3 year old had to be laying down along the ponies back. Xander has always been wheelchair bound, so when he first rode he was able to move just like anyone else. Fast forward to today, Xander is riding sitting up. He has a specially made saddle his dad engineered which holds him in place with Velcro. This makes it easier for side walkers to hold him and help Xander hold his head up.
Over the years he has had his ups and down like every rider, but he keeps persisting and loves coming to see his pony.
The ability to believe in oneself and others
14 May 2013
Dear Karen and Team
This letter is to thank you for the difference your efforts at RDA are making in Brian's life.
Before starting him in your program, I remember a boy full of anxiety, hiding in my classroom from others, clutching his iPad and typically swearing at any well-intentioned soul who tried to initiate a social conversation.
What a difference I have observed in his personal growth since he returned to your program this term. He walks differently – now more upright, bouncy and confident. He talks differently – more pleasant, more chatty, more social. Instead of hiding away, he is beginning to form peer friendships. He is so much calmer. It is a delight to see how he is beginning to “grow into himself” and how he is becoming just so much more comfortable with who he is within himself.
You are the highlight of his week.
Lester is one of our adult Primary Riders and has been in the program for 16 years. He first started lessons in 1976 at the RDA stables on Kurrajong Drive in Alice Springs, riding on Laddie. He has competed at the Alice Springs Show in many events over the years and has also competed in the Alice Springs Masters Games where he won three gold medals.
Lester loves riding and is a joy to have around, with his big smiles and enthusiasm. Over the years he has improved in his ability to place objects accurately to different places, such as balls into butterfly nets or rings on the bending poles.
Through developing these gross and fine motor skills, he is able to hold a cup and knife and fork. He enjoys the Melbourne Cup races where we call a race for him to walk in a forward movement. He has succeeded in getting Frodo to trot from his body commands and we are all so proud of him.