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About Wellington RDA

Welcome to Wellington Riding for the Disabled (WRDA). We are very excited to have your interest in us!

WRDA was established in 1974 and since then we have helped hundreds of people who face the challenge of disability to experience the benefits of horse therapy. We are one of over 50 independently financed and managed Groups throughout the country affiliated to the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA).

Our Mission is “to develop confidence, independence and well being for people with disabilities through therapeutic horse related programmes”. We provide a unique experience for people through:

  • Therapeutic riding for the rehabilitation of physically and intellectually disabled people
  • Remedial or supplementary education opportunities for the stimulation of learning skills
  • Behaviour modification through contact with trust in a large, warm responsive, trained animal
  • Recreational and sport riding for people with disabilities.

We cater for individuals and groups of all ages with disabilities: intellectual; spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, traumatic head injury, developmental delay; epilepsy; psychiatric and psycho/social including autism and emotional disorder; learning difficulties; behaviour modification; auditory or visual impairment; respiratory including cystic fibrosis and asthma; and accident and stroke victims. Many of our clients have multiple disabilities.

WRDA services clients from Wellington City to Kapiti. We currently ride five days a week Tuesday through Saturday. We have four terms (these are the same as primary school terms, with one week reserved for volunteer training). Safety is the Group’s number one priority, followed by fun, therapy, education, sport and recreation. A strict Code of Safe Conduct is adhered to.  We employ professional, experienced coaches who consistently undertake regular upskilling to ensure they are able to train our volunteers effectively. We have a strong base of 55 volunteers who are committed to helping change the lives of our riders.

WRDA does not receive core government funding. We currently work with many who have been referred by the CCDHB Child Development Team, yet at no cost to the CCDHB. We are dependent on support from the community and charitable trusts as without this we would need to charge clients, most of whom are school age, at least $100 per hour for our services which would be well out of reach for the majority of our clients. Many of our service users are unable to access therapy that is as proven and affordable as riding.

We rely heavily on volunteers to run our rides and support our Group’s continuing operation. It takes a lot of people to keep things running smoothly and efficiently and to ensure we provide a safe, high quality and happy environment for all our volunteers, riders, visitors and horses. Many volunteers provide their time and skills to maintain and upgrade our facilities but the equipment and materials are purchased by the Group. WRDA is governed by a committee made up of up to 10 members who meet once a month. WRDA also has subcommittees and key role holders who work on specific areas of WRDA.


For more information please contact Wellington Riding for the Disabled Association Inc.
on (04) 237 5550 or



“My daughter… is severely handicapped she cannot stand or walk and is therefore confined to a wheelchair. She attends riding for the disabled every Tuesday. The exercise in her hips and legs has provided the right stimulation and knowledge for her to stand and take her own weight for what is termed as transit stands. This benefit cannot be measured in dollar value. As parents we are so proud of her. There appears to be no boundaries to what she can achieve in future through her horse riding and the benefits that will accrue from that.”

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