The RDA is a charity with thousands of members across the United Kingdom, as well as further branches around the world. There are opportunities for people of all ages with many different types of disability (physical, sensory, intellectual, or any combination) to engage in riding, carriage driving and vaulting, as well as various educational activities. The emphasis is on having fun whilst also developing, demonstrating and celebrating skills and achievements. In particular, there are opportunities to compete at all levels in both mounted and unmounted activities, from colouring competitions to the Paralympic Games.

Taking part in a distance ride to raise money for the RDA – this really is the UK with no filter!

A few months after I joined the RDA (September 2014) I began to compete and in May 2015 somehow qualified for the RDA National Championships, where I came fourth in Freestyle Dressage to Music. Since then, I’ve won national titles in RDA dressage, jumping and vaulting and the team musical ride (which was one of my favourites – getting to win with my friends was the best!). RDA has given me lots of other opportunities too – in November 2017 I was invited to speak at the RDA AGM at Saddlers’ Hall, in front of an audience of dignitaries and royalty!

Lizzie and Jodie practising putting on bridles!
Trying on a bridle during RDA stable management class!

The RDA has utterly transformed my life for the better. It has given me so much enjoyment, pride and confidence and so many wonderful friends, experiences and memories. I volunteer on various committees and also coach vaulters, and am training to coach riders. I absolutely love coaching – it’s a great way to be more involved in RDA and to learn A LOT!

Meeting HRH Princess Anne at the 2016 RDA AGM, Cheltenham Racecourse