What we do: Every year, RDA Glasgow Group provides equine therapy to around 400 children and adults with disabilities from across the Greater Glasgow area. We provide 36 hours of riding and carriage driving sessions per week and rely on the help of over 100 volunteers to deliver our service.
Why we do it: Balancing on a horse works thousands of muscles, and the horse’s movement mimics a walking pattern in the muscles of the rider, which provides a highly effective form of physiotherapy. It also offers psychological benefits. This combination of physical and psychological benefits makes equine therapy appropriate for a very wide range of disabilities, from autism and Asperger’s to cerebral palsy, visual or hearing impairments to learning disabilities.
Our history: Starting life in Bearsden as The St Mungo Group of the RDA in 1967, the Group became the Glasgow Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association in 1987, moving to a purpose-built facility in the Summerston area of Glasgow. A member group of the national Riding for the Disabled Association, we are dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities across Greater Glasgow through the provision of opportunities for riding and carriage driving.
Our Centre: The centre was officially opened in 1988 by HRH the Princess Royal, President of the Riding for the Disabled Association. The purpose-built facilities include stabling for 20 horses, indoor and outdoor arenas, tea bar, office, meeting room and accommodation for the yard staff.
Our Riders: We cater for riders with all types of disability, from the age of three upwards, providing access to the physical and psychological benefits that riding can offer.
Our Classes: The aim of our classes is to teach to new skills and foster independence by encouraging riders to take charge of their horse. Riding takes place in small classes indoors or outdoors, depending on the weather. Our activities allow riders to experience the physical, sensory and psychological benefits that riding offers, which in turn helps to increase confidence and self-esteem. The tea bar provides a space for parents and carers to share experiences while riders are in classes. Please note that we currently have a weight restriction of 12 stone maximum. Classes accommodating over 300 riders run from 10 am to 9 pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 1pm on Saturday mornings. For more information on our classes, click here.
RDA Glasgow is governed by our current Memorandum and Articles of association, adopted on October 2016.
If you are interested in the history of the RDA Glasgow Group you can download a copy of our founding constitution here.