Therapy through Horses

At RDA therapy is often disguised as an opportunity to have fun. In fact recent research into rider outcomes shows that after just 12 weeks 74% demonstrated physical improvement, 77% experienced greater confidence and 75% more enjoyment. 65% showed a greater willingness and ability to communicate, 72% showed improved relationship building skills and 78% demonstrated clear advances in horsemanship.

The Therapy through Horses Plan has 5 main objectives to provide the best possible experience for riders, carriage drivers and vaulters (gymnasts on horseback).

  1. To encourage a partnership approach to goal setting and evaluation by the use of the RDA Tracker outcome assessment tool. We know that people achieve more when they are supported to work toward a goal.
  2. To promote internal and independent research so that RDA gains insight about the needs, aspirations and experience of adults and children who ride and drive our horses.
  3. To provide training to coaches, therapists and volunteers through written materials and courses.
  4. To engage and retain physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language therapists who can use their professional skills in an equine environment. Please note you can access physiotherapy advice and support by clicking on ‘Physio point of contact’ in the resources section of this page. See also ‘Physiotherapists within RDA FAQs’ & ‘Hippotherapy FAQs’.
  5. To provide consultancy via a panel of medical and non-medical therapeutic and educational experts.

RDA seeks to work in partnership with other organisations such as:

  • CPTRH (Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy), See ‘The Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy’ in the resources section of this page. CPTRH Regional representatives are listed in the ‘Physio point of contact’ resource
  • OTEAA & T (Occupational Therapists in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies).
  • HETI (Horses in Education and Therapy International)
  • as well as schools and the NHS in order to make therapeutic riding and equine assisted activities available to more people with disabilities.
Page Last Updated: June 3, 2020