Our horses are the backbone of the NZRDA. Finding an ideal horse to assist with therapy is not easy. Not all horses are suited to specialised work. We take much time and care to ensure our horses’ selection, training and welfare is of the highest standard. Most horses for our RDA groups are purchased, but they can also be hired or loaned from riding schools, or on long term lease or loan, where a private owner retains legal ownership.
Our horse selection training and welfare policy applies to all groups, ensuring appropriate high standards are maintained. Our horses are a valued part of our specialist team and are used in a number of ways:
- Recreational riding to help build confidence and encourage participation and communication.
- Therapeutic riding to help stimulate the participant’s nerves, strengthen muscles, and increase mobility and health. Horses can also provide psychological benefits whether the person rides them or not.
- Hippotherapy (meaning, therapy with the horse) where a rider is appropriately positioned on a horse and utilises the horses’ movement.