Sunrise grant buys new saddles for RDA

Sunrise grant buys new saddles for RDA

31 May 2018 - Sunrise Foundation RDA grant 2018 web 800x600

Chris Whitehead and Terupe Lingman enjoy their riding lesson with RDA's Amy Hopkins and Courtney Griffith

Gisborne’s Riding for the Disabled (RDA) are delighted with two new saddles they purchased with the grant they received from The Sunrise Foundation. 

RDA provides riding therapy for 80 disabled riders a week, delivering safe and effective riding programmes to children and adults with physical, intellectual, emotional and social challenges.

Amy Hopkins, RDA Manager, says their riders need special saddles to help them to progress well and avoid back injuries. “The grant from Sunrise meant we were able to purchase two premium quality saddles with changeable gullets, this means we can adapt the saddle to fit any of our horses and the flat seat allows any sized person to ride it.”

RDA's Amy Hopkins and John Moroney with Kerry Taggart (Sunrise)

John Moroney, RDA Chair, says RDA is not government funded and relies heavily on the support of the community, volunteers and grants. “We are lucky to have great community support, but caring for 12 happy and healthy horses and the riding arena requires a lot of resources. We are very grateful for the grant from Sunrise, the new saddles are a huge help.”

Riding and interaction with horses benefits children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. The effects of the horses movement on the human body has significant therapeutic benefits. John added that it is not only the physical outcomes they see, the emotional effects are also significant. “We’ve had feedback from a teacher that brings a group of small boys to ride that they go back to school afterwards with more confidence and self-esteem. They feel like they can do something the other kids at school can’t. It’s a joy to see.”

RDA’s grant is one of 61 grants Sunrise has gifted to worthy causes across the arts, community, education, environment, health and sports communities in the Gisborne/Tairawhiti District since they launched 3 years ago.

Sunrise does one funding round a year, applications are now open to apply for funding. Click here for all the information you need to apply, including funding policy and application form.