Improvement of the riders’ ability to contribute to their family, community and country through the program.
In our classes, through the natural therapy of the horse's movement, we are improving the riders' motor skills - they can now pick things up; we improve their core strength; we improve their coordination, their speech improves, their confidence and self esteem grows. All this leads to the chance of a more independent way of life.
Children, all with different strengths, can support each other in a number of ways,and introduce each other to different experiences, breaking down prejudices and preconceptions. It is all children who benefit from learning to live and work together, laying the foundations for an inclusive society.
RDA benefits to young Aboriginal people living in the Territory
Youth who are exposed to domestic violence and abuse have an increased risk of becoming future offenders. Taking these young people out to activities such as RDA can break the cycle, growing respect for other people and their community and culture.
Aboriginal kids participating in the program are nominated by their schools or youth-related service providers.
The program monitors the children’s school attendance and behaviour, helping them get back on track if there are any problems at school. Through teaching life-skills, self-respect, self-confidence and giving encouragement along the way, kids are aided in completing their courses, thus becoming role models to their peers.
Darren has been riding with RDA for 2 years as part of the Acacia Hill program. When first assessed he was confined to a wheelchair and had limited core strength. With continued participation in the classes his balance improved and he especially developed a great rapport with his new set of legs Frodo.Today Darren has no need for his wheelchair and is enjoying his new sense of freedom and self esteem.
The ability to believe in oneself and others
14 May 2013
Dear Karen and Team
This letter is to thank you for the difference your efforts at RDA are making in Brian's life.
Before starting him in your program, I remember a boy full of anxiety, hiding in my classroom from others, clutching his iPad and typically swearing at any well-intentioned soul who tried to initiate a social conversation.
What a difference I have observed in his personal growth since he returned to your program this term. He walks differently – now more upright, bouncy and confident. He talks differently – more pleasant, more chatty, more social. Instead of hiding away, he is beginning to form peer friendships. He is so much calmer. It is a delight to see how he is beginning to “grow into himself” and how he is becoming just so much more comfortable with who he is within himself.
You are the highlight of his week.
Lester is one of our adult Primary Riders and has been in the program for 16 years. He first started lessons in 1976 at the RDA stables on Kurrajong Drive in Alice Springs, riding on Laddie. He has competed at the Alice Springs Show in many events over the years and has also competed in the Alice Springs Masters Games where he won three gold medals.
Lester loves riding and is a joy to have around, with his big smiles and enthusiasm. Over the years he has improved in his ability to place objects accurately to different places, such as balls into butterfly nets or rings on the bending poles.
Through developing these gross and fine motor skills, he is able to hold a cup and knife and fork. He enjoys the Melbourne Cup races where we call a race for him to walk in a forward movement. He has succeeded in getting Frodo to trot from his body commands and we are all so proud of him.