Eastbourne Area Riding for the Disabled Association

Rider Information | Eastbourne Area Riding for the Disabled Association

Eastbourne Area RDA Group is a new member group of the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA).

The aim of the group is to provide the opportunity for young people with disabilities to take part in horse riding.

The group is able to take Riders between the ages of 4 and 16 years with independent sitting balance. This is the age range and level of active ability to which the instructor has been certified to teach.

Eastbourne Area RDA Group is committed to the provision of a high standard of instruction, care and safety for Riders and Volunteers: this is achieved by ensuring that all Volunteers are properly trained for the tasks they are required to undertake.

The Instructor

The Instructor has overall responsibility for ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of the group Riders and Volunteers, as well as ensuring the group activities are enjoyable and appropriate to the age and abilities of the Riders.

Child protection

All Volunteers are required to have read the group child protection document.

The group has a designated Child Protection Officer, who is available to deal with any queries or concerns.

Information on child protection training will be provided by the group Child Protection Officer.

First Aid

The Group Instructor holds an up-to-date First Aid Certificate. Information on First Aid courses will be provided for Volunteers.

  • All Riders need to wear hats that meet the BS EN 1384:19997 and have a CE mark. The hat must fit appropriately, with appropriate chin fastening. If the hat has been subjected to a blow (either through a fall or by being dropped) it is not fit for purpose and a new hat needs to be acquired.
  • Hats are available to borrow from Bede’s and meet the required safety standards.
  • All Riders need to wear appropriate footwear, with a smooth sole and small heel.
  • Riding boots are available to borrow from Bede’s
  • If the Rider is not able to wear riding boots, please inform the Instructor who can make provision for appropriate adaptations to the stirrups.
  • Riders must have no dangling jewellery or flapping clothing. Coats need to be fastened.
  • All Riders need to wear comfortable but not baggy trousers. Jodhpurs are ideal but not essential.
  • All Riders are advised to wear gloves when riding. Appropriate gloves have a rubber/grip palm.
  • Gloves can be borrowed from Bede’s.
Rider abilities

The Riders do not need to have had any previous riding experience to attend the group.

Their riding ability will be assessed at their first session and they will be given the appropriate amount of assistance required.

Health & Safety
  • All children (Riders and Visitors) must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
  • The main car park has a gravel surface, so take care when walking on it. Be aware of construction traffic which may be using the car park as access to the building site. Riders with mobility/sensory difficulties can be provided with access to drive down to the car park by the yard.
  • Take care when walking down to the yard from the main car park. The road is used by light traffic.
  • Take care and hold the rail when using the steps in and out of the hat/boot room.
  • Do not approach any of the animals (horses/ponies/dogs) on the yard or in the fields, unless given permission and accompanied by the Instructor.
  • Take care when using the sloping path to get to the school/waiting area.
  • Do not touch/climb on any of the items stored in the waiting area.
  • Parents/Visitors are asked not to enter the school.
  • Riders are asked not to enter the school until instructed to do so by the Instructor.
  • All Riders/Parents/Visitors should read and be familiar with the fire drill and accident procedure.
  • There is a very small risk of catching certain diseases when around horses/ponies. If you have any symptoms which you think may be associated with such a disease, please seek medical advice from your GP or Accident & Emergency Department and inform the Instructor. Possible diseases:
  • Ringworm
  • Tetanus
  • Farmers Lung
  • Salmonella
  • Campylobacter
  • Asthma
  • Animal allergies

Please do not give the ponies any titbits.

If the Riders, Parents, Volunteers want to reward the pony with food, please ask the yard staff if you can give the food to be added to their feed. The ponies must not be given any titbits by hand as this encourages nipping and biting.

Group sessions

The Rider will be allocated a ‘Team’ who will work with them before, during and after the ride. When the Rider arrives at the yard, the ‘Team’ will meet the Rider and will assist them to prepare for the ride.

Once a Rider has been given a place to ride with the group, they will be able to continue with the group until their 17th birthday, unless the Instructor deems it unsafe (for Rider &/or Volunteers) for the Rider to continue riding. In such circumstances, the Instructor will consult with the County & Regional Instructor and Chairman to discuss the case, before reaching a decision.

The aim of our group is to provide a safe, enjoyable, beneficial experience for Riders, Volunteers, Parents and Visitors. Everyone has a vital role in the smooth running of the group and your help is much appreciated.

If you have any queries or concerns, please feel you can speak to the Session Instructor.

If you are unsure about anything – ‘Ask’!