RIDING for the DISABLED (RDA) & Hippotherapy

History of RDA

The Association was founded in 1965 as the Advisory Council on Riding for the Disabled with 9 Member Groups and became Riding for the Disabled Association in 1969 when membership had grown to 80 member groups. The president at that time was Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk with HRH The Princess Anne as Patron.

The Association used an office in the British Horse Society building and moved to Stoneleigh Park in 1975.

1975 also saw the introduction of Carriage Driving as an activity and RDA drivers took part in the first World Driving Championships in 2002.

In 1986 HRH the Princess Royal took over as President.

The first RDA National RDA Dressage Championships took place in 1981 and were expanded to include all RDA disciplines with the First RDA National Championships.

1981 also saw the launch of the Association’s in-house magazine, RDA News, which is circulated three times a year.

The Association became a Federation of Member Groups in 1999 and RDA National became an incorporated body in 2004.

2007 saw the National Office move from Stoneligh Park to it’s current location in Warwick.
In 2009/10 the Association marked it’s 40th anniversary – launched with the “World’s Biggest Riding Lesson” and then celebrated through the year with a number of events for volunteers, riders and drivers.

In 2011 Showjumping was added to the portfolio of RDA activities, with the 2011 National Championships hosting the inaugural “invitational competition”.

The Association now has over 500 Member groups which cater for more than 30,000 riders and carriage drivers. – RDA UK


Hippotherapy is a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. A foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing, which can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities. Unlike therapeutic horseback riding (where specific riding skills are taught), the movement of the horse is a means to a treatment goal when utilizing hippotherapy as a treatment strategy. – more info here




May 2004

Click here for pictures – still under construction



2005 – Tita Marivic and I were invited to the 1st Asia Pacific Riding for the
Disabled Conference held in Hong Kong. There were more than 10 other
country representatives that joined. There were several speakers,
training days, and lots and lots of yummy food! (Dimsum galore!).

RDA 2009

RDA 2011

CPEDI3* Hong Kong International Para-Equestrian Dressage Competition 2011 

Hong Kong Riding for the Disabled Association 4th Asia Pacific Conference  

(under construction)


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