UK charity The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) has just launched its new three year strategic plan. The basis of the plan is to support 10,000 more participants by 2025, but they can only manage this with more horsepower.
During the pandemic the number of horses bought and sold increased dramatically, hence the prices paid for horses skyrocketed. Horse & Hound reported that “horse sales market soaring despite the pandemic” in December 2020 and little has changed 18 months on.
Harry Hall, the online equestrian business, has pledged to help the RDA find more horsepower by asking their customers, the equestrian community at large and the members of the Harry Hall One Club to help find more horses.
Emma Bayliss, project coordinator for the RDA explains: “We want to work with as many people as possible to speed up the process of finding horsepower and to help train horses where that’s needed.
“It’s critical to have the public behind us to do this and I know the horse community can be fabulously supportive.”
Many people think that the type of horses that RDA needs are old or retired, but this is not so. The RDA needs horses and ponies of all ages and abilities, with younger equines being an investment for groups spending charitable funds.
Many of the RDA equines compete at the National Championships in a variety of disciplines ranging from dressage, vaulting, endurance, showing, show jumping and carriage driving. An RDA horse leads a varied lifestyle, protected by the many welfare policies RDA has in place.
Liz Hopper, CEO of Harry Hall, explains: “We’re asking the equestrian community this: Do you have a horse that you just don’t have time to ride anymore? Are you concerned about money with the increase in household bills and inflation? Does the thought of selling or loaning your horse worry you? Will he go to a good home, will he be well cared for, looked after correctly and will he be loved?
“Maybe your horse could bring a smile to someone’s face. Your horse could give a life changing experience to someone through the RDA. You can sell or loan your horse to the RDA and help transform a life. Harry Hall has over 30,000 members in the Harry Hall One Club and we are sure that they will be able to help the RDA.
“Our business is dedicated to making horse ownership more affordable and we want to help the RDA find the extra horsepower they’re looking for.”
The RDA is looking for horses and ponies with a good dollop of unicorn about them. They should be fit, athletic and healthy to tackle the fantastic activities that the RDA has to offer and to keep up with the demands of RDA life. Any equine that comes into an RDA group, whether on a purchase or loan basis, needs to pass a minimum of a two-stage veterinary examination and then be assessed by an experienced Coach.
If you have a horse that you think could help the RDA, head over to the Harry Hall website. It’s a quick and simple process – just complete the application form and the team at Harry Hall and the RDA will be in touch. It takes just five minutes and it’s free of charge, so why not submit your application?
Caroline Ward, director of communication and insight at RDA UK, said: “RDA is so grateful to the team at Harry Hall for helping us tackle this critical issue. This site will be an invaluable tool for our groups in their search for suitable horses and ponies, so that they can support more disabled people in their communities.
“Harry Hall has a fantastic community of customers and supporters who I feel sure will get behind this initiative and register their horses and ponies to become the next generation of RDA superstars.”
You can find out more about the RDA’s strategic plan here on their website.