Riding For The Disabled

Riding for the Disabled (RDA) is a not-for-profit organisation, which runs equestrian activities for people of all ages with various disabilities. It is a nationwide organisation split into individual local branches, and it provides vital physical and psychological therapy for its members. RDA Fitzroy Falls is an important organisation in the Equestrian community of the Southern Highlands. It has been run for over twenty years by Angus and Neatie Malcom at their riding school, with the help of loyal volunteers and very well trained ponies.
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RDA member enjoying a ride on her pony, aided by one of the volunteers
(Photo from the Southern Highlands News)
One of my very first horse shows was the ‘Chicken Run’, a charity gymkhana that aims to bring the equestrians together to raise money for the RDA. Dressed in bright pink on my shaggy Shetland pony, my poor mother led me up ditches, over jumps, and through obstacles. At the age of four, I was not aware that I was involved in a fundraising day, but was amazed that that so many people, old and young, had all come together to participate in the same event. Now, twenty-one years later, the Chicken Run is still held annually and its proceeds are essential in allowing Angus and Neatie to continue their vital work.
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A Chicken Run Competitor
(Photo by Julie Wilson)
When I approached Riding for the Disabled in Fitzroy Falls, they were initially confused. What did RDA have to do with a history degree at the University of Sydney? I explained that our project this semester aims to recognise the importance of including the voices of individuals and community groups in the construction of local and national history.
Following a great meeting where we sat down and discussed where they were at as an organisation, we identified a key project which I can help them with. I have yet to discuss with Neatie and Angus how much they feel comfortable with me sharing publically, but I am hoping that I will be able to divulge more details in following blog posts.RDA Fitzroy Falls has a rich history that I would love to record and I am hoping that part of my work with them will allow me to do that. In particular, I am very keen to speak to the riders, both past and present, to hear their stories and how RDA has impacted their lives. Ultimately I hope that through my work, RDA Fitzroy Falls will receive greater recognition in the wider community and I very much look forward to building on our project together.
RDA Australia Website: http://www.rda.org.au/default-landing.aspx
RDA Australia Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Riding-for-the-Disabled-Association-of-Australia-RDAA-135449168732/