Riding for the Disabled Association
Come and join our award-winning RDA team at Park Lane Stables!
We are part of a network of 500 RDA Groups across the UK. Our horses and ponies provide invaluable therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities in and around London. Volunteer groups, such as Park Lane Stables, organise activities such as riding, carriage driving and Hippotherapy.
All sessions are run by fully trained RDA instructors and friendly, DBS-checked volunteers to ensure participants have all the support they need.
RDA Horse Riding Sessions
We offer one-to-one and group RDA sessions for children and adults with disabilities and learning difficulties throughout the week and weekend during term-time. Sessions usually last for 30 minutes.
We run a fun Adult RDA group on Wednesdays from 2pm-4pm. Participants ride in Bushy Park for an hour and then take part in horse care and stable duties for an hour. Some participants choose not to ride and just like to help out in the stables.
We also offer rides in Bushy Park for RDA riders throughout the week, subject to availability.
We are very pleased to offer specialist Hippotherapy sessions for children with disabilities who do not meet the RDA minimum physical riding requirements, or those who want to work on specific functional therapy goals, such as sitting, standing or walking using a horse. Hippotherapy treatment utilises the movement and rhythm of a horse as part of a therapeutic treatment to work towards therapy goals specific to each child. Each session is led by a chartered physiotherapist who has completed a post-graduate certificate specialising in Hippotherapy.
Here's a few feedback comments from parents about our Hippotherapy sessions:
"My main expectation was that she would enjoy herself and get some physio at the same time - both have definitely been met!"
"The progress has been amazing physically, and for his confidence."
"Riding has made such a difference to my daughter’s co-ordination, balance and confidence."
RDA Carriage Driving
Carriage Driving is a fun skill for anyone to learn and be involved in, but it will be particularly beneficial for those who are unable to ride because of their disability.
We offer half hour driving sessions in beautiful Bushy Park on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Participants have the opportunity to gain proficiency certificates and enter competitions.
Park Lane Stables Carriage Driving Team won a Highly Commended Award at the national 2019 Carriage Driving Awards.
Our bespoke Carriage is wheelchair accessible and was built and kindly donated by our amazing sponsors, H&L Motors. We'd also like to thank the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames' Civic Pride Trust who gave us funding to buy Sam, our carriage driving horse and harness for this project. Please contact us if you are interested.
We may be able to offer physiotherapist-supported RDA sessions for adults and children who need physiotherapy support for their riding. If you think that you or your child may be eligible for this, please contact us for further information and please pass this information on if you think it would be relevant to somebody you know.
Weight restriction: Please note that the maximum weight for riders, wearing hat, body protector etc is 13 stone/83kg.
Those weighing more than 13 stone may participate in Carriage Driving and stable yard activities.
Please contact us for more information about our RDA provision:
Riding for the Disabled at Park Lane Stables
The RDA Horses at Park Lane Stables
Natalie O'Rourke is the owner of Park Lane Stables and has a son with Down Syndrome. She has training in sign language and makaton, and actively seeks to offer opportunities to those with additional needs; amongst our team is young man on the autistic spectrum, a volunteer who is deaf, and a lady whose depression and anxiety has been dramatically reduced as a result of her time spent at the stables.
Charity Number: 1161306
The horses at Park Lane are kind, honest and steady, and make perfect companions for RDA riders. These carefully selected horses and ponies are accompanied on foot by friendly helpers, who thoroughly enjoy leading and side walking with those who need additional support.
Hounslow Council Short Break Scheme
How can we help you?
During the school holidays we are part of Hounslow Council's "Short Breaks" scheme. During two hour sessions, these children with a range of needs will have the opportunity to learn about grooming and caring for ponies, before riding out in Bushy Park, supported by the team. These sessions are not only incredibly valuable to the children that take part, but also provide important respite time for their parents and siblings.
We are a friendly and inclusive yard and warmly welcome RDA riders to join any of our regular riding sessions throughout the year. Half hour or hourly sessions can be easily arranged - just contact us to discuss your requirements and we will ensure they are matched to a ride suitable for the rider ability. The specially trained team at our unique suburban yard really do believe that it's what you can do that counts, and look forward to helping many more riders achieve their dreams in the years to come.