Our Services

Specialised horse therapy

The NZRDA provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe and stimulating therapeutic horse riding and horse-related activities. Our RDA groups throughout the country provide life-changing experiences for more than 3,000 children and adults every year. Our riding programmes are led by qualified coaches and therapists, and are designed to complement conventional therapies and education.

The benefits

Horse riding is an enjoyable form of healthy, outdoor exercise and an exciting, challenging and motivating activity. Interactions with horses and the effects of their movement on the human body also have significant therapeutic benefits. Our programmes are designed to enhance and improve physical, psychological and social abilities as well as provide recreational and vocational pursuits. 

Who we help

Spending regular time with horses can benefit children and adults with a wide range of special needs, including autistic spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, CVA (stroke), developmental delay, down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, learning disabilities, hearing and visions impairments, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida and spinal cord injuries.

We welcome children and adults of all ages. People may be referred to our programmes in a number of ways including word of mouth or referral from a health professional, teacher or caregiver. There are some cases where riding is not recommended and we advise seeking advice from a medical professional.


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What we offer

Our RDA groups run structured riding sessions across New Zealand. These are supervised by a coach and assisted by therapists, trained volunteers and of course, horses. Our riding activities are designed to encourage participation and help to develop individual abilities, with specific goals designed for each person. Our horses are specially selected and trained for our programmes.

Our programmes fall in to three key areas: Education, Sport and Recreation, and Therapy and Rehabilitation.

Real stories

Each year we help more than 3,000 people with a range of physical, intellectual, emotional and social disabilities, to change their lives for the better. These New Zealanders are able to achieve goals and overcome obstacles that they never thought possible.

> Read their stories