Peak Bodies

Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)

Riding for the Disabled provides therapeutic interaction with horse in order to develop increased ability and self esteem for children & adults with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
RDA Centres provide suitable horses, trained volunteer helpers, accredited RDA coaches, riding and safety equipment to run a range of equestrian activities including:
  • Structured riding classes
  • Recreational horse riding
  • Hippotherapy
  • Games/competitive riding
  • Vaulting
  • Carriage driving
  • Dressage
  • Equestrian camps

Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia -

Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia (RDAA) is a voluntary, nonprofit organisation which provides opportunities for anyone with a disability to enjoy safe, healthy stimulating, therapeutic, horse-related activities in Australia. 8 State & Territory Assocs are affiliated to RDAA:
  • RDA Pegasus ACT
  • RDA Equestrian Athletes with Disabilities (NSW)
  • RDA Northern Territory
  • RDA Queensland
  • RDA SA
  • RDA Tasmania
  • RDA WA
Each State & Territory has a number of local RDA Centres within it. You can find links to each state under the RDA Australia website, visit:

Riding for the Disabled Association Inc. of New Zealand -

Riding For The Disabled
Riding for the disabled was introduced into New Zealand in 1962. NZRDA’s mission is to promote: ‘Confidence, independence and well being for people with disabilities, through therapeutic horse riding and horse care.’

What began as a subgroup at the Pony Club in Waipukurau, Hawke's Bay prompted the formation of the New Zealand Riding for the Disabled Association (NZRDA) in 1972. Several Groups were established throughout New Zealand over the next 8 years. In 2012 there were 56 RDA Groups established across New Zealand.

Riding for the Disabled UK -

RDA UK horses & ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities all over the UK. 

‘Every year, over 30,000 people with disabilities discover through RDA just how much they can achieve...’

It’s network of 500 volunteer groups organise activities such as riding, carriage driving, vaulting & showjumping to 28,000 people each year.

RDA has been creating life-changing activities for over 40 years. It takes great pride in the exceptional standard of its instructors & volunteers (18,000+) and offers activities for all age groups and to people with any disability in urban or rural settings.

Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association - 

Founded in 1980, the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) is a registered charity that promotes challenge, achievement and empowerment for children and adults with disabilities through the use of the horse.

There are now approximately 100 member centres across Canada providing high quality therapeutic, recreation, life skills and sport programs.

CanTRA has also worked over the past 25 years to ensure an excellent standard of certification and education for therapeutic riding instructors.

CanTRA is a member of the Federation of Riding for Disabled International (FRDI) and is recognized by FRDI as the only governing body for therapeutic riding in Canada.

While CanTRA as a national body acts as a resource for its members through certification, education and insurance, its strength lies in its local centres across the country. Each centre offers a program with a slightly different focus and many medical professionals work with CanTRA to ensure excellence in service delivery.

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International - USA

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), a federally-registered 501(c3) nonprofit, was formed in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs.

With over 3,500 certified instructors and 800 member centres around the globe, more than 6,500 PATH Intl. members help more than 42,000 children and adults with physical, mental and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse each year.

In addition to therapeutic riding, centres offer a number of therapeutic equine-related activities, including hippotherapyequine-facilitated mental health,drivinginteractive vaulting, competition, ground work and stable management.

strides-magazineMore recently, programs offer services in human growth and development to serve wide-ranging audiences for such educational purposes as leadership training, team building and other human capacity enhancement skills for the workplace and for daily use.

Through its certification and accreditation programs, plus a wide variety of educational resources  including a national annual conference, the association helps members start and maintain successful EAAT Programs.

Federation Riding for the Disabled International (FRDI/HETI)

The Federation of Horses in Education & Therapy International – HETI (formally known as the Federation for Riding for the Disabled - FRDI) was founded in 1980.
HETI Newsletter
HETI/FRDI forms worldwide links between countries and centres, offering equine activities and assists in the development of new programmes worldwide. It has members from over 45 different countries around the world.

2007 - Scientific JournalHETI/FRDI is actively involved in establishing international standards of safety and competency in instruction and in encouraging high standards of protection and training of horses for therapeutic purposes.

HETI/FRDI liaises with relevant bodies for the promotion of equestrian sport for riders with disabilities - International Paralympic Equestrian Committee (IPEC).

International Congress for Therapeutic Riding -

Every 3 years HETI/FRDA sponsors an International Congress for Therapeutic Riding, which features the latest research and development results. The congress is a unique opportunity that brings the world together to spearhead the promotion of equine assisted activities. The next congress will be held 24-27 April, 2012 in Athens, Greece.

American Hippotherapy Association (HHA) promotes the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy in physical, occupational and speech-language therapy sessions for people living with disabilities.

Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, or speech and language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement in an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes.

Hippotherapy literally means “treatment with the help of the horse” from the Greek word, “hippos” meaning horse.

Specially trained physical and occupational therapists use this treatment for clients with movement dysfunction. 

EAGALA was founded in 1999 as a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization developed to address the need for resources, education and professionalism in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning.  

EAGALA now has over 3,500 members in 40 countries with regional coordinators helping support members and networking groups in EAGALA Europe/Middle East, EAGALA Africa, EAGALA Latino America, EAGALA Pacific & EAGALA U.S./Canada.

The Equine Assisted Growth & Learning Association (EAGALA) is dedicated to improving the mental health of individuals, families, and groups around the world by setting the standard of excellence in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning, also known as horse therapy or equine therapy. Learn more about EAGALA's Training and Certification Program.


Lis HartelIn 1952, Danish Liz Hartel won the silver medal for Dressage in the Helsinki Olympic Games while suffering from partial paralysis of both her lower limbs, caused by Polyomelitis; thus becoming the inspiration for the establishment of the first therapeutic riding centres in the U.K. and Scandinavia.

International Equestrian Federation (FEI) 

International Paralympic Committee

International Paralympic Equestrian Committee 

British Horse Society -
The BHS represents the interests of the 4.3 million people in the UK who ride or who drive horse-drawn vehicles. With its membership and that of its Affiliated Riding Clubs and Bridleway Associations the BHS is the largest & most influential equestrian charity in the UK.

The BHS works closely with the Government through responding to Government consultations on access, safety and welfare issues. The All Party Parliamentary Group for the Horse raises issues of importance with Government and politicians.

Member Bodies of British Equestrian Federation
Member Bodies of the BEF are British Dressage, British Show Jumping Association, British Eventing and The Pony Club; British Army, British Equine Veterinary Assoc. and the National Assoc of Farriers & Blacksmiths 

British Horse Society Equestrian Hall of Fame
The British Horse Society Equestrian Hall of Fame celebrates the heroes and heroines - human and equine - of the equestrian world. The first laureates in The British Horse Society Equestrian Hall of Fame were announced at the Royal International Horse Show on 31 July 2005. Each year they admit a number of riders & drivers, breeders, trainers & coaches to the Hall of Fame. Plaques to commemorate all laureates in the Hall of Fame are displayed in the Household Cavalry's Barracks, Knightsbridge, London.

Equestrian Statistics
Equestrianism is an extremely popular and healthy activity for people of all ages. It is a diverse and family-friendly sport. It is one of very few sports where men and women compete on an equal footing. It extends from amateur and community participation to international success.

British Horse Society (BHS)

The British Horse Society has more than 72,000 members. There are 430 BHS affiliated Riding Clubs and 20 Riding Club centres with approximately 36,000 members.

Pony Club
The Pony Club, a national youth charity, has approximately 35,000 branch members and 15,500 centre members. There are 340+ Branches and 500+ Centres. In 2009 the Pony Club celebrated its 80 Anniversary. Now the largest Youth Equestrian Organisation in the world!

Riding for the Disabled Association 
The Riding for the Disabled Association provides riding & carriage driving opportunities for 23,000 adults & children with physical disabilities. Each year more than 18,000 dedicated volunteers give more than 3.5 mil hours of their time. 

For more fascinating statistics on British Equine Industry visit:



Nevzorov Haute Ecole, NHE is the high School of horse training set up by Alexander Nevzorov. Its basic principle is working with a horse which is absolutely free without any means of coercion.

Haute Ecole achievements without the use of bridle, bits or spurs - truly inspirational. Watch the video to see the sheer exuberance of the horse, it’s wonderful to watch!

The Nevzorov Haute Ecole School strives for utmost development of natural horse`s talents, its mentals and physical abilities as well as establishing discipline and understanding in relationships and dialogue with a horse. 

The main requirements of Nevzorov Haute Ecole practices are horse`s health, trust, profound knowledge of hippology and physiology, feeling of the horse and talent, unreserved acceptence of School Interdicta, to keep a horse and provide it quality conditions conforming to school methods of upbringing, school membership

The film is an official publication of the NEVZOROV HAUTE ECOLE school and explains the general principles of a horse's education; Collection, Discipline, Lunging, Cordeo, Touching, Composure.

Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling -

Fantastic pictures from a play-dance-working-session in the wild nature at liberty.

See the fantastic effects of the Magic-Lungeing, which Klaus founded in this form and evolved into a true art and unique way. Here one of the most important bases in Klaus's work. A horse needs a very good preparation to carry a rider. Klaus has raised the Art of Lungeing - learn more about it here and what this means.

The video features the horse therapist Klaus Ferdinand Hempfling's working with these powerful, dignified creatures in accordance with nature. The development of the rider's "presence" and an orientation to holistic principles is integral to his work.

He considers the horse's psyche (psychology) and communicates via body language with these beautiful creatures. A true horse whisperer, Hempfling's professional background is in fields of communication, art, theatre, music, study of native people and cultures.

The main focus of his teaching is the humans' personal development and he is the founder of horse-assisted manager & leadership training, having trained and coached many managers and leaders from companies all over the world.

The KFH Riding System 'Balanced Weight Riding' starts with thorough groundwork and lungeing at liberty, building up the potential for the exercises of the High School Dressage (Haute Ecole), like shoulder-in, Spanish walk, passage.

Klaus has 2 books: Dancing with Horses & The Horse Seeks Me

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