We are based at the Joan Fernie Centre in Murdoch Road East, Hastings. Your local RDA provides therapeutic riding opportunities to facilitate the training and rehabilitation of disabled and disadvantaged persons in the Hawke’s Bay area. Disabled persons can benefit hugely from participation in our programme physically, mentally and emotionally. We also provide instruction in riding and horse mastership for disabled persons in Hawke’s Bay.
Skills learnt are transferable into rehabilitation and training aspects of daily living. Riding and interaction with horses and ponies, motivates people to achieve independence and their personal goals.
Our friendly, happy horses and ponies come in all shapes and sizes. They are trained for their role in therapeutic riding. Most of our riders do not use saddles but ride on pads to feel the warmth and movement of the horse or pony.
The group was founded in 1972 on the property of Jim and Mary Short at Pakipaki. Following Mary Shorts' retirement in 1999, The Hastings Group RDA held the grand opening of their site at 699 Murdoch Road East, Hastings. It was here in April 2003 that the current name of Hastings Group Riding for the Disabled Assn Inc was adopted.
Our covered arena was the first in Hawke’s Bay. When not needed for training or exercising the RDA horses, it is used by local riders and also by coaches for lessons and seminars.
Our riding sessions with our clients are conducted on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings during the school terms. We have a dedicated group of volunteers, who lead horses, sidewalk and coach the riders. Our riders, from all areas of Hawke’s Bay, have a variety of physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities, working with parents, caregivers, therapists and teachers we work towards short and long term goals for each individual rider. We also regularly review each individual programme