A THERAPEUTIC horse riding school will open to the public this Sunday to celebrate a decade in Pinjar and entice volunteers.
The Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) Capricorn Centre has been running at the Old Yanchep Road site for 10 years
Vice-president Ian Hudson has been involved since the site opened and said it had grown to provide horse riding for people with disabilities.
“We started with about six riders and we currently have 100 per week – we have a waiting list,” he said.
“Our biggest limitation on what we can do is volunteers, particularly during the week.”
Mr Hudson said the centre had about 60 regular volunteers who helped people of varying abilities ride the 22 horses that live on the 40ha property.
“We’ve bred five foals and we currently have a mare in foal,” he said.
The retiree said volunteers also helped with maintenance, such as reticulation and fencing, and they did not need to have experience with horses as the centre provided training.
Mr Hudson said people with physical and mental disabilities came to the centre to ride, and volunteers enjoyed seeing the difference it made.
“It’s not about pony rides – it’s so therapeutic,” he said.
“I’ve seen people come out who can’t sit straight without help and after a few weeks riding a horse, they can. I believe it’s the motion of the horse that helps manipulate or soothe their spine.
“People who don’t communicate will smile and make a noise – that’s what makes it worth it for us.”
Mr Hudson, who was the centre’s president for several years, said RDA had operated for about 45 years and was based in Floreat before moving to Pinjar.
He said unofficially RDA also stood for “riding develops ability”.
The April 30 event is primarily about raising awareness, with fundraising activities also planned.
There will be free pony rides, riding demonstrations, facepainting, volunteering information, market stalls and MG cars.
Who: Riding for the Disabled Association Capricorn Centre
What: 10th anniversary open day
Where: 1441 Old Yanchep Road
When: Sunday April 30, 10am-3pm
More: www.rdawa.org.au or call 9407 4111