We wish to keep the cost to our riders as low as we can to enable everyone in need to be able to access our therapy programmes.
Bay of Plenty
We are New Zealand’s biggest Riding for the Disabled centre (out of 55 nationwide), riding 145 riders per term with 170 on our waiting list. We are a full charity and run on a part time staff of 7, with the help from our 100 wonderful volunteers. We run our therapy programmes 6 days a week. We want to decrease our ever-growing waiting list by expanding our programmes. Our Vision is that “Every person is supported to live life to their full potential” and we aim to fulfill this with our Mission “To offer equine therapy to people with disabilities and social challenges.”
What we do.
Currently we have 6 different therapy programmes to fulfill our Mission:
1.Therapy Riding - uses the movement of the horse as a treatment tool to address mental and physical impairment. Each rider works towards their individual therapeutic, educational or sporting goals set by the RDA coaches in conjunction with their therapists, teachers and caregivers. This programme directly improves and promotes balance, co-ordination, posture, muscle tone, mental well-being, communication and independence.
2. Life Skills – is a programme designed to target low self-esteem, depression and anxiety in at-risk youth and young offenders, to develop confidence, self-esteem, compassion and social skills which translates to other aspects of their lives.
3. Sport and Recreation – aims to provide riders with the skills and confidence to enable them to attend a mainstream riding school, if that is the path in which they wish to proceed. This programme takes them to the next level of horsemanship competence.
4. Community Outreach – this programme outreaches to people who cannot travel to our base facilities. Two miniature ponies travel to visit residents of retirement villages and nursing homes offering equine therapy based around the beneficial interaction between people and horses. This promotes emotional well-being, enhanced quality of life, general excitement and enthusiasm for life.
5. EAGALA – our newest programme is a non-riding programme which involves both a mental health worker and a horse coach working with children (aged between 5-12 years old) to enhance assertiveness, problem solving, teamwork, and leadership. The horses are a key part of the learning, instinctively they analyse and react to the human’s body language, and as a result they facilitate the behavioural patterns of the participants. The development and practice of finding the clients own solutions through personal and physical experiences will transition to a positive approach to challenging and everyday situations, which arise in their lives.
6. Special Olympics - to train to represent Tauranga and potentially New Zealand in Equestianism at the Special Olympics. We are very excited to start this programme as a continuation of our riding therapy programmes, enabling riders to compete, where this pathway is usually unattainable to most of our riders.
Through our programmes we target those with differing abilities and those whom are at-risk and help them to be able to function as highly as possible to contribute to their families and communities.
Our Vision is that “Every person is supported to live life to their full potential” and we aim to fulfill this with our Mission “To offer equine therapy to people with disabilities and social challenges.” We are a registered charity, operating our therapy programmes 6 days a week.