November 24th, 2022RDA providing riding techniques for
physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities
Daylesford’s Riding for the Disabled is always looking for volunteers – and
loves those it already has.
Spokesperson Lesley said Daylesford RDA had started in 1996 and was now
celebrating 26 years of providing riding techniques for both children and adults with
disabilities – physical, intellectual and sensory.
“Our horse riding is based on English riding techniques and we have had people,
mostly from Hepburn Shire, aged from three to a person aged 70,” she said.
Now operating out of Boomerang Ranch, Lesley said training with both the
horses and the different disabilities catered for was provided so experience was
not needed, although anyone who had worked with either horses or people with
disabilities was always welcome.
“Mainly we are looking for people who are committed, reliable and empathetic –
there are also some volunteer positions which just involve fund-raising or cleaning out
stables. Or perhaps helping out at one of the four competitions we hold each year.”
Along with a good mindset, Lesley said volunteers also needed a certain level of
fitness, being able to walk in the outdoors over uneven terrain and stay on their feet
for three to four hours.
“People also need a Working with Children Check but we can help them with
that. It is also just a lot of fun.”
Volunteer James Foster, pictured bottom left, said he saw a story in The Local, a
year back about the RDA looking for volunteers.
“I really had no idea what to expect, but I had been wanting to get involved in
something for a while so I thought it might be fun,” he said.
“And the experience has turned out to be even better than I imagined. I came in
with a new batch of volunteers and most of us are still there. It’s a great group and
lots of fun, but more importantly you can see the difference it makes to the people
who come and ride.
“You can see the satisfaction, joy, and a sense of achievement through the new
skills they learn when riding. I think riding each week boosts their happiness and
wellbeing and helps support people to try something different.
“Anyone thinking of volunteering should think about the RDA. You learn new
skills in how to saddle and handle a horse, it’s a lot of fun, gets you out of the house
every Friday afternoon, it’s a great bunch of people you work with, and you get the
occasional horse ride as well.”
Lesley said most of all, once people decided it was for them, they needed to
commit to attending most Friday afternoons.
“Our riders get used to working with particular people so we really do need
people who can come fairly regularly.
“It’s also great being in a smaller RDA like Daylesford. I was in a suburban RDA
and I prefer here because you actually get to know the riders and their families a lot
more and understand how what you do at riding can impact on their lives at school
or outside of that. It really is rewarding to hear and see how people can change from
“It is much more wholistic here and while it is not for everyone, like all sports and
recreational activities, the people who do like it, tend to love it. They get a lot out of
For more information or to take part in the training contact Lesley on 0407 843928.
Loving our volunteers!