RDA Coleraine was established in 1975 to provide recreational and therapeutic riding opportunities for persons with a disability living in Coleraine and surrounding districts (now combined as the Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council Area). Having celebrated 40 years of service to the community in August 2015, the Group has provided services to over 3000 clients, currently about 150 per year.
The group rely on funding through donations, sponsorship, organisation of activities, events, a range of equestrian shows and the hire of facilities to clubs and individuals.
Employed staff is minimal, with all other operations being carried out by a team of volunteers, from age 12-75+, providing around 250+ hours weekly throughout the year.
The Group uses up to 12 horses, mostly owned, but several on long term loan.
Our mission is to aid the personal development of riders. Working with horses is well documented to aid physical, mental and social and emotional development. We provide a platform for experience in working as a group, working with and helping to care for large animals, taking instruction, communicating with others, tactile development, and learning to recognise and take responsibility for another's wellbeing (horses, helpers), including safe operating practices. We also provide independent movement to wheelchair users – riding simulates walking. The overall experience promotes amazing confidence and life skills, and the achievements and developments of our riders generates respect from the wider community, as evidenced by the support the Group receives.