Caddy vets are proud to be associated with The Donkey Sanctuary at Ballymartin Road, Ballyclare Co.Antrim. These donkeys are involved in the RDA (Riding for the disabled) or Donkey assisted Therapy as it is named. This is a great organisation and worthy of support. RDA was founded in 1969 and has 500 member groups across Great Britain and Ireland. Its president is HRH the Princess Royal whom we had the pleasure of meeting there last year. Every year 26,000 disabled people take part in riding, carriage driving, vaulting and show jumping activities. Working across the whole spectrum of disabilities, age range, social status and in urban and rural environments, RDA aims to help each individual derive a therapeutic benefit and achieve a personal goal.
Strengthening core stability
Medical professionals recognise that the warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the riders body, gradually making it more relaxed and supple, strengthening core stability, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and co-ordination. Other benefits include freedom of movement, gaining confidence, building relationships, receiving life enhancing physiotherapy and achieving individual goals.
Improvements in 12 weeks
Riding offers an element of risk denied to many people, especially those have been affected by an accident or serious illness. Apart from being enjoyable and therapeutic, riding offers the chance to regain mobility and a sense of achievement. People with congenital disabilities discover a new freedom in movement, whilst those with degenerative conditions can retail mobility and remain active for longer. RDA says that 80% of riders experience physical improvement in 12 weeks or less and 82% demonstrate improved communication skills.