For some people horse-riding is more than just learning to ride, the activity is also therapy, helping to build strength and balance or improving their communication skills.
The benefits to mental and physical well-being are now much endorsed, with a recent study from the charity Mind, concluding that 80% of people said their mental health improved following exercise.
Accessibility Mark is helping to provide more opportunities for disabled riders, here we find out 6 things about the scheme that you might not know.
6 Things You Need to Know About Accessibility Mark
1. Accessibility Mark is a Sport England funded project launched by Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) in partnership with the British Equestrian Federation’s participant project.
2. The scheme gives riding centres, schools and clubs access to support and training from RDA so they can deliver new opportunities to the disabled community.
3. Centres can gain a recognised accreditation from RDA promoting the fact they have received training and meet the required standards.
4. There are currently 38 centres nationwide that have gained the Accessibility Mark stamp of approval and are encouraging those who do not already participate in equestrian activities or would not usually have the opportunity to do so, to experience the many benefits that riding and being around horses can bring.
5. Accessibility Mark caters for riders with learning disabilities as well as physical disabilities, therefore during training emphasis is also placed on communication, teaching staff members how to effectively converse with people who have difficulties in this area.
6. RDA provides access to their resources such as the RDA Tracker programme. The Tracker is a simple to use holistic tool to measure progress delivered through horse riding. These results can be used by coaches and therapists to tailor lessons accordingly for maximum benefit.
To find your nearest RDA Group or Accessibility Mark centre visit www.rda.org.uk