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Eight in ten RDA riders experience physical improvement in 12 weeks or less

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has published the results of a pilot scheme to track the therapeutic outcomes of its activities. Within a four month period of regular riding, the RDA Tracker measured change in six areas: communication, confidence, enjoyment, relationships, physical changes and horsemanship. In every area evaluated, riders showed a statistically significant improvement.

Highlights of the report include:

  • 80% of riders experience physical improvement
  • 90% demonstrate growing confidence and enjoyment
  • 82% demonstrate improved communication skills

While anecdotal evidence, independent research and expert testimonial all exist to support the benefits of RDA’s activities, this is the first time the charity has systematically assessed the therapeutic outcomes for children of different ages and abilities.

In addition to the headline findings, the results were analysed by gender, age, disability, class size and the number of sessions attended. Qualitative evidence was also collected, generating an invaluable bank of observations, quotes and feedback to help support RDA’s work. Denise Robertson, RDA's Head of Therapy said:

“We are delighted by the results of the pilot tracker. Not only have we demonstrated its ‘usability’ as a tool for our groups, but we can finally put some robust figures next to the anecdotal evidence about the benefits of riding with us. The ‘qualitative research’ adds real heart to this project, providing new and invaluable insights into the rider experience.”

The Tracker will be officially launched at the RDA National Championships, Hartpury, 12-14 July. 

For more information about the RDA Tracker and Horses in Therapy please contact Denise Robertson.