Saddle Up Fitting Service

Saddle Up Fitting Service

RDA would like to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to Mhairi from Saddle Up Fitting Service. Mhairi donated her time and expertise in helping our horses be more comfortable when working with our special riders. Mhairi was originally born and raised on a Highland Pony Stud Farm in Scotland before moving to Australia in 2004. Over the years, Mhairi has explored many avenues of the equine industry including studies in Equine Sports Therapy and working for the late HM The Queen on her highland Pony Stud at Balmoral and with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Fell Ponies at Windsor Castle.

Our Sensory Board – From the Men’s Shed

Our Sensory Board – From the Men’s Shed

The Men’s Shed of Salamander Bay responded to a request from Riding for the Disabled to design and manufacture a unique style of Sensory Board suitable for use by riders whilst still mounted on their horse.

The Men’s Shed responded with a Sensory Board that would stimulate riders coordination, vision, hearing, dexterity and touch.

They recently visited to Centre to present and see the board in use. Our riders from the Tuesday programme were all smiles when the Sensory Board was presented and it sure got a work out on the very first day!

RDA would like to thank The Men’s Shed for this wonderful donation.


When Moments Connect – Maree’s Story

When Moments Connect – Maree’s Story

Life is not a matter of milestones but of moments – that’s one of the magnets on my fridge.  Milestones are especially important and can lead to those moments in life but then sometimes it’s a moment in your life that can lead you to another moment and down various paths.  Eight years ago, I was in one of those moments in another work life visiting one of special needs schools we assisted with school activities and learnt the name Riding for the Disabled.  As a girl who grew up riding stock horses at a time where no-one locked their gates and we were able to ride from property to property you could imagine this tweaked my interest somewhat, so I decided to pay them a visit and check it out.

I drove into the Centre and had a moment where I felt an immediate peace about the place, especially being a country girl, as the place was tucked in of the road and there were horses grazing in the paddock.

I met one of the coaches, Carol, who showed me around the place and filled me in on the programs and how it worked.  I was impressed and proud that the organisation was assisting in this wonderful part of our client’s lives.  This wonderful being confirmed when I was talking to one of our parents and she stated that when her daughter was on the horse she could sit as straight as a cocky on a biscuit tin and I heard the joy in her voice at this statement – another moment that imprinted.

Six years ago, I saw that RDA were advertising for assistance through the Hunter Volunteer Centre.  I called to see what I could do to assist and decided I would become a member and be involved on the Management Committee.

I love what our volunteers do each week at our centre with such a diversity of personalities and skills but with a common goal of our love for our horses and our riders.  I have enjoyed working in the management committee area and have had lots of fun “moments” at different times.  Through the Management Committee I have been involved in meetings, fundraising, community awareness, social media, website planning and community presentations.  I love to do the community presentations and share our wonderful work.

I think we have lots of moments at RDA and those moments vary for every rider and volunteer.  I am so pleased that some of my moments have been a part of this great organisation.



In 2020 RDA (NSW) Raymond Terrace and Lower Hunter turned 40 years old. An open invitation was extended throughout Newcastle area and with a tremendous response 70 plus riders were given a chance to experience the thrill of riding horses.

There have been stories about how the horses would be brought to riding lessons from members who were able to provide horses for riding to having to cancel lessons due to rain as there was no Indoor Arena to use on the site.

Many changes have happened since our humble beginnings including the addition of an Indoor Arena, Outdoor Arena, Stables, Tack and Carriage Room, Sensory Garden and HorsePlay outdoor area.

Throughout 2021 to 2022 our Centre will be celebrating our birthday throughout a range of areas including official opening of HorsePlay, Social Media Post from our various members and some celebration events.