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Ride Therapy Programme

Our core service is our Ride Therapy Programme. Our aim with this Programme is to help clients achieve their goals. We provide fully trained coaches who are happy to work in conjunction with any therapist you may be using. Activities are geared to complement any therapeutic treatment riders may be receiving, and their individual educational/development plans, and all participants follow an individual programme under an NZRDA approved Coach. We use skilled professional coaches for our programme because they know how to challenge clients whilst ensuring a high degree of expert care and safety required for our riders’ individual disabilities. Our coaches also want to work closely with parents and teacher aides to ensure riders reap the full benefits of their riding and associated activities.

Sessions for each client occur on a weekly basis for up to 30 minutes in length, depending on the level and ability of the client. A large number of volunteers are required during sessions as there is one person in charge of leading and controlling the horse, and 1-2 side walkers supporting each client, dependent on the level of client’s disability. As clients become more capable and independent in their riding, the support from sidewalkers and the horse leader is reduced.

Riding or non riding activity is provided on your allocated day regardless of the weather. In the case of bad weather days, unmounted activities take place at the same allotted times. It is up to the participant, parent/guardian or school whether they wish to participate in these unmounted activities on the grounds, but the Term Ride Fee remains the same. Refunds will only be provided in exceptional circumstances and if approved by Committee.

Fees are $280 (GST inclusive) per term. Membership is also compulsory for all riders. The Membership is $15 (GST inclusive) per year for Individuals, $35 (GST inclusive) per year for a family, and $50 (GST inclusive) per year for a corporate/school membership. Corporate membership covers all students of a school or group that participate in the programme. Membership forms and fees are due in February each year. An invoice is posted out at the commencement of each term for ride fees and payment is required within 30 days. At least one Terms’ notice will be given regarding any change in the above fees.

Acceptance of any rider in the programme is dependant on a number of factors and a medical consent from a doctor is required prior to participating in our ride programme as there as some contraindications for riding with some disabilities. Please note we do also have a weight limit of 75kg for any rider with a disability due the carrying capacity of our horses as set by NZRDA standards.

Due to increasing demand we do have a waiting list, so if you are interested in our Ride Therapy Programme we initially ask you to fill in our WRDA Referral Request Form. Once a placement becomes available, we ask you in for an assessment. Once the assessment is completed, we then request our WRDA Medical Consent Form to be completed by your Doctor. Several other consent forms require a parent or guardians signature of consent, and a start date is organised.

Riders are reviewed at the end of each term to determine who continues to ride and who transitions out or graduates from the programme. We endeavour to have riders achieving their goals before graduating.

Horse riding does have risks by its very nature, but at WRDA we are very careful to choose well trained, quiet and proven horses for our programme, and we provide significant ongoing training for our coaches and volunteers. We are audited by NZRDA regularly and safety is our number one priority!


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


Services and Programmes


Ride Therapy Programme

Riding programme to provide therapy for people with disabilities


Unmounted Programme

Non-riding programme learning about horse care and handling horses


EAGALA Therapy Programme

Private counselling or team building utilising horses



 “I really valued the time at WRDA as time where I could watch …(my son)… enjoy mastering something that didn't come naturally but something he was actually achieving. Difficult to try and explain what I mean there, but so often he fails at what he tries and then stops trying. I took extreme pleasure in his starting independent riding and seeing him actually thinking ahead about what he had to do; the sheer joy of watching him achieve the tests we set him and so many of the 'little things' that we all take for granted but he has to work for was awesome. I'm sitting here with tears in my eyes!”


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