Riding bringing smiles to faces

Last Updated : 02 Jun 2016
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A NSRDA riding session in progress.
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Volunteers at North Shore Group Riding for the Disabled (NSRDA).

Community grant applications are now open.

One organisation that has benefited from a community grant is the North Shore Group Riding for the Disabled (NSRDA), one of seven branches of New Zealand Riding for the Disabled in the Auckland region.

Applying for a grant

Find out more about applying for a community grant.

Riding sessions for the disabled

For over 40 years, NSRDA has provided horse riding sessions for people with disabilities, to improve their physical, intellectual and emotional wellbeing. The group offered over a thousand rides in 2015 alone.

Riders’ individual needs vary greatly, with disabilities varying from autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disabilities, to physical disabilities. Riders are referred to NSRDA via the health and education system, medical professionals or the community, and tailored riding programmes are provided for every person.

Along with two trained equine coaches, the group has 70-odd volunteers who lead the horses, maintain the safety of the rider, and guide the riders through a range of exercises specific to their needs.

Help for community riding group

With the help of the community, NSRDA was able to purchase a piece of land in Silverdale. This has been developed into a riding environment with fenced paddocks, a large barn/indoor riding arena, outdoor riding arena, a ramp for riders to mount the horses, holding pens for the horses and more.

“As a voluntary organisation, NSRDA is totally reliant on the council’s community grants, grants from other funding bodies, donations from members of the public and fundraising activities. We feel incredibly privileged to work with such special individuals and to have volunteers who are dedicated to helping others,” says David Williams, Funding Officer, North Shore Group Riding for the Disabled.

“People with disabilities are an integral part of every community. They face many challenges in life, so it’s important to help them overcome some of those hurdles, so they can lead happy and productive lives,” added Mr Williams.

Funding has been provided by Hibiscus and Bays, Upper Harbour and Kaipatiki local boards.

Find out more

To find out how a local board community grant could help your organisation visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or call 09 301 0101.

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