Riding for the Disabled



The Exeter and District Mencap Society is pleased to support the Exeter Group of Riding for the Disabled (RDA) which provides free and safe riding facilities for children with disabilities in and around Exeter. The group are particularly proud to be able to offer riding facilities to children with learning disabilities. 

The group was formed in June 1966 and began riding at Powderham Castle. They are one of the longest running RDA groups in the UK and celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2016.

The experience of riding helps the children physically in terms of their balance, posture and muscle strength but also, just as importantly, socially as they communicate with other riders, volunteers and of course, with the horses and ponies. The weekly sessions provide an opportunity for therapy to be mixed with fun and a sense of achievement, which helps young people with disabilities with their everyday activities outside the riding environment. Their riders are children aged between 3 and 18. Historically, most of their riders in the early days had physical disabilities but nowadays the majority will have learning disabilities such as autism or Down’s Syndrome. 

RDA Exeter Group meet every Tuesday from March through to December between 6:45pm and 8:00pm and use the large indoor riding school at Oaklands Riding Stables in Exeter which enables them to ride whatever the weather, come rain or shine. The group provides riding and therapy for children and young people and relies totally on trained volunteers to deliver the riding sessions each week, which are completely self-funding.

A maximum of 10 riders take part in the two riding sessions each week, with a number of children on their waiting list.

You can find out more about the group: 

on their website: 


on Facebook:


by email:


by phone:

07976 917666