The Wellow Group of the Riding for the Disabled Association is a voluntary organisation in Bath and
North-East Somerset, working with horses and ponies to promote opportunities for therapy and enjoyment for local people with disabilities. Through the commitment of our volunteers we enable disabled riders to improve their health and well being and to gain a sense of achievement. Please see our volunteers’ page on how you can get involved.
We hold sessions in term time on Monday to Saturday (except Wednesday), catering for over 100 riders with ages ranging from preschool to pensioner. Sessions consist of small groups of 4 to 6 riders with helpers leading the horses and/or acting as side helpers. Riding activities include exercises, playing games, having races (usually at the walk!), hacking along a disused railway line and preparing for competitions.
Our riders have a wide range of disabilities including Cerebral Palsy; Learning Difficulties; Head Injuries; Hearing and/or Visually Impaired; Autism and progressive diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.
A research project carried out by the RDA shows that riding can help by providing therapeutic and recreational advantages to disabled people, and improves their physical status, communication skills, confidence and social integration.
Some Quick Facts
The RDA research study has shown the therapeutic benefits of riding for people with disabilities.
The published results show that:
- 80% of riders experience physical improvement
- 90% demonstrate growing confidence and enjoyment
- 82% demonstrate improved communication skills
Within a four month period of regular riding, the RDA Tracker measured change in six areas:
Communication, confidence, enjoyment, relationships, physical changes and horsemanship. In every area evaluated, riders showed a statistically significant improvement.
The Riding for the Disabled Association is a UK Registered Charity. Founded in 1969, it has around 500 Member Groups, similar to Wellow, across the United Kingdom. Wellow is part of the Mid-West region.
The RDA states its aims as giving individuals the opportunity to:
Reach therapeutic goals: to improve muscle tone and posture; develop fine and gross motor movement. Co-ordination is improved by using different arm and leg muscles to those used in locomotion and in using the brain to control those muscles.
Achieve their personal ambitions: sit on a horse for the first time and learn new skills, which helps to improve self esteem.
Combat social isolation: meet new people and build relationships; enjoy events and competitions and develop self confidence.
Develop life skills: improve communication; take responsibility and become a team player. The rider is asked to do something different to their normal everyday tasks.
Experience the outdoors: ride in the countryside and learn about rural matters.
Connect with Animals: utilising all the senses through touching, stroking and grooming. Learning gentleness and respect for fellow creatures.
Wellow Group RDA
Little Horse Croft Farm
Wellow Near BATH
Somerset BA2 8QF
Tel: 01225 840 853
Charity No : 1152796
Company No : 8474461