The Stawell RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association) is on the lookout for community members to join to ensure the local children can continue to enjoy the activity.
The Stawell RDA centre was founded on August 3 1988 and is a voluntary, nonprofit organisation which provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy, therapeutic, horse-related activities in Australia.
RDA Stawell has 27 volunteers along with four especially trained coaches, however it averages about 16 attendees each week.
The Stawell Police have been working with the volunteers at the RDA over the last few months and Senior Constable Max Mudge said it has been "such a rewarding experience" dealing with the children.
"It's been such a rewarding experience as we can see firsthand the excitement on the children's faces when they come to RDA each Wednesday morning," he said.
"The kids of all different ages and capabilities start their ride in the dressage area and then move out onto the larger course where they can go for a trail ride or take part riding around/negating obstacles or playing games.
"All riders have a volunteer leading the horse and depending on their skill level, riders will have a side walker on each side of the horse should the child become unbalanced.
"When they get on their horse at the start of the session, it's clear that they can see the world from a different perspective."
Senior Constable Mudge urged members of the community to come forward and volunteer to help with the program.
"Each week there are between six and nine kids who come to RDA and from what we can see, it's the best part of their week," he said.
"RDA is such a positive experience for all involved and the dedication and commitment the women and men of Stawell have made to the RDA community since 1988 is truly remarkable.
"In a small town, there aren't many opportunities like this for children and we encourage anyone who is interested in volunteering to put their hand up so that the community and many other children can continue to experience such a wonderful activity."
In 2022 the Stawell centre is only permitted to have nine riders at a time as they can't share helmets and boots, due to COVID-19 regulations.
The centre fundraises by catering at the Stawell Show, Trail Rides and doing the gates at the Stawell Harness Racing Club.
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