Christchurch Riding for the Disabled (CRDA) is a non-profit organisation. We are one of 56 groups that operate under the umbrella of all NZRDA.
CRDA receives no government funding and relies on arena hire after hours and the generosity of the community to ensure we are able to provide a high level of service to our riders.
We provide therapeutic riding sessions for people with disabilities. At any given time we have up to 70 riders attending our sessions. Ages range from 3 to 70 years.
For the young of age with a physical disability this not only means physical therapy appropriate to their condition, but the opportunity to partake of an activity that crosses physical barriers and gives them a mobility more in keeping with able bodied children their own age.
Children with a non-physical disability such as those diagnosed with the Autistic Spectrum Disorder also benefit from the physical aspects of riding but for them the relationship with the horse comes to the fore.
Our adult riders who may be recovering from a stroke, car accident or dealing with the day to day struggles of a debilitating disease encompass all of the above; and for all of our riders it can mean a massive boost in confidence and self- esteem.
Therapeutic riding sessions are conducted five days a week and are facilitated by trained Coaches, with the assistance of up to 70 volunteers.
Participation in our sessions sees riders increase in confidence, improve their balance and strength, and learn horse mastership skills. Some riders will always require the assistance of one or two side walkers. Others may reach independence and be able to enjoy riding as a recreation or sport.
Christchurch Riding for the Disabled aims to provide stimulating and enjoyable riding therapy sessions in a safe environment. Riding therapy programmes benefit people with a wide range of disabilities including;
The benefits gained from therapeutic horse riding are improved balance, coordination and posture. Confidence and self-esteem also get a boost! Working with horses improves communication and social skills.
Some of our riders may reach a level of independence that allows them to be able to enjoy riding as recreation or sport, or move on to our Para-Equestrian group.