Monday, 3 February 2014

DMU continue charity work with local RDA Arden group

Arden RDA the local Leicestershire volunteer group
The RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) are a charity with a difference. They provide positive care and therapy for people living with disability all over the UK with horses and ponies. With over 500 groups, working for over 40 years, with 18,000 volunteers the RDA are a charity that offer an opportunity for alternative 'Hippotherapy' for people living with both physical and mental disabilities. The RDA focus on giving exceptional care and engagement from instructors and volunteers in a safe and comfortable environment for all age groups whilst making it as accessible as possible.

The focus of the RDA is to make sure that the rider's gain a pleasure from working with the animals in order to potentially gain confidence, freedom of movement, enhanced physiotherapy, reach individual goals or build relationships. It has been noted by medical professionals that there are significant therapeutic benefits from the therapy provided for rider's with disabilities. The movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider's body to make them more supple and to strengthen core stability, improving balance, posture and co-ordination.

The girls at DMU Equestrian are now proudly part of the local RDA Arden Group which runs weekly sessions that the team at De Montfort are actively participating in to help local people to achieve their own goals through riding care and therapy. The volunteer scheme runs alongside the DSU volunteer awards system that allows students to log their hours for volunteering allowing them to receive an official certification from the university at the end of the year for all their hard work.

This is not the first affiliation the girls have participated in to do with the RDA, as the naked charity calendar produced by the society gives proceeds to local RDA group, Kimberley House that ride at Witham Villa, De Montfort's nominated training yard. The opportunity to volunteer is open to all society members as no prior experience is required as all training is given through the staff working at RDA to ensure safe and correct practice is executed by all volunteers to clients taking part.

Lybbi Hatton, a member of the society took part in the first training session with the Arden RDA group and was able to see firsthand the benefits riding can have for the disabled as well as other rider's. As a rider who is working on her confidence, Lybbi found the experience a positive reinforcement for achieving her own personal equestrian goals;

"As a person who has gained a lot from the positive benefits of horse riding and seeing the huge impact it can have on someone's well being. The RDA is a fantastic group that creates a safe and encouraging environment for children and adults with disability to learn to work with horses. I throughly enjoyed helping and seeing the faces of the children as they were riding, and how proud they clearly felt was a real pleasure to watch."

De Montfort Equestrian Club will now be making a regular appearance at the Arden RDA yard and hope to work up lots of volunteer hours for the DSU University scheme.

For information on how to get involved please contact us via;

Twitter @DMUEquestrian
Facebook 'DMU Equestrian Society'
DMU Equestrian at the local Arden RDA volunteer scheme

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