What We Do
Ride Therapy Programme
Our core service is our Ride Therapy Programme. Our aim with this Programme is to help riders achieve their goals. We provide fully trained coaches who are happy to work in conjunction with any therapist you may be using. Activities are geared to complement any therapeutic treatment riders may be receiving, and their individual educational/development plans, and all participants follow an individual programme under an NZRDA approved Coach. We use skilled professional coaches for our programme because they know how to challenge clients whilst ensuring a high degree of expert care and safety required for our riders’ individual disabilities. Our coaches also want to work closely with parents and teacher aides to ensure riders reap the full benefits of their riding and associated activities.
Sessions for each rider occur on a weekly basis for up to 30 minutes in length, depending on the level and ability of the rider. During a session, riders will carry out a range of activities designed to challenge and motivate them, while ensuring they also have fun!
A large number of volunteers are required during sessions as there is one person in charge of leading and controlling the horse, and 1-2 side walkers supporting each rider, dependent on the level of riders disability. As riders become more capable and independent in their riding, the support from sidewalkers and the horse leader is reduced.
Riders will usually ride the same horse on a regular basis. Horses are carefully selected for each rider, taking into consideration the rider’s physical ability, height and weight, and therapeutic needs. Our horses are our four-legged therapists, and many riders form a strong bond with their horse – so it’s important that horse and rider are a good match.
Riding or non-riding activity is provided on your allocated day regardless of the weather.
Fees are $25 (GST inclusive) per week, per term. Membership is also compulsory for all riders. The Membership Subscription is $5 (GST inclusive) per year for Individuals. Membership forms and fees are due in March each year. An invoice is posted out at the commencement of each term for ride fees and payment is required by the 20th of the following month. At least one Terms’ notice will be given regarding any change in the above fees.
Acceptance into the programme
Acceptance of any rider in the programme is dependant on a number of factors and a medical consent from a doctor is required prior to participating in our ride programme as there as some contraindications for riding with some disabilities. Please note that weight limits may apply, we endeavour to accommodate all riders, but must always prioritise the safety of the rider, the horse, our staff and volunteers.
Due to increasing demand we do have a waiting list, so if you are interested in our Ride Therapy Programme we initially ask you to fill in our Referral Request Form. Please note that completing this form does not guarantee acceptance into our ride programme.
Once a placement becomes available, we ask you in for an assessment. Once the assessment is completed, we then request our Medical Consent Form to be completed by your Doctor. Several other consent forms require a parent or guardians signature of consent, and a start date is organised.
Riders are reviewed at the end of each term to determine who continues to ride and who transitions out or graduates from the programme. We endeavour to have riders achieving their goals before graduating.
Horse riding does have risks by its very nature, but at Napier RDA we are very careful to choose well trained, quiet and proven horses for our programme, and we provide significant ongoing training for our coaches and volunteers. We are audited by NZRDA regularly and safety is our number one priority!