The Eurobodalla branch of the Riding for the Disabled Association has received a $4,025 grant from waste and water management company SUEZ towards the purchase of a specialised saddle.
The specially modified independence saddle provides extra support for riders with muscular and balance-related conditions, with an adjustable and removable headrest, backrest, forearm supports, hand grips, safety stirrups and a safety release.
Eurobodalla RDA Head Coach, Sue Feeney said that the saddle can accommodate riders of varying sizes and disabilities and will allow for greater participation and safety.
“Eurobodalla RDA currently caters to 45 riders each week, and the addition of this specialised saddle will mean we can cater to more riders with more varied disabilities,” said Ms Feeney.
“The independence saddle provides an opportunity, particularly for children to gain muscle strength and participate in a form of exercise, improving well-being and quality of life.”
Participation in the RDA program improves coordination, balance, muscle development and fitness while building confidence and social skills. Horse riding can also improve challenging behaviour through offering a sense of independence and control.
Eurobodalla Shire Council Mayor Liz Innes attended the presentation and was pleased to hear that the grant will have a positive impact on Riding for Disabled NSW and the Eurobodalla community.
“I have owned horses all my life, and understand how horses improve overall wellbeing and encourage community involvement,” said Ms Innes.
“Horses play a wonderful part in therapy so it’s a pleasure to support this Riding for Disabled NSW grant, I’m very proud to be mayor of a Council that supports SUEZ’s grant programs.”
Brendan Jeffcott, SUEZ Branch Manager - South Coast said the company was delighted to assist with the equipment purchase.
“The program can be life-changing for children and youth living with disability, and we are pleased to be able to help Eurobodalla RDA to extend the service to those who previously were unable to take part,” Mr Jeffcott said.
Now in its third year, the SUEZ Community Grants program has donated more than $400,000 in funding to community organisations and projects across Australia that help communities and the environment thrive.
For more information on the SUEZ Community Grants program or to register to receive information about the next grant round in 2017 visit www.suezcommunitygrants.com.au/.
Above: Brendan Jeffcott (SUEZ) & Sue Feeney (RDA)
.... and the cake is cut - photo by Anne Cormick