The Meaning of RDA

These ideas belong to the whole RDA group.


What is the organization about and what is its purpose?

From the RDA Singapore website:

RDA Singapore was founded in 1982, with just 5 riders and a whole lot of heart. Since then, more than 6,000 disabled children and adults have experienced the benefits of the therapy that our horses and ponies so lovingly provide.

RDA Singapore is a registered charity and Institution of a Public Character (IPC); UEN No: S82SS0081H. Since our inception in 1982, we have provided equine-assisted therapy (hippotherapy) to more than 6,000 physically and mentally disabled beneficiaries. We have seen beneficiaries who can sit up longer, walk unaided or who have become more sociable after riding with RDA Singapore. These may seem like minor achievements to most able-bodied people, but to those with disabilities, these are life-changing feats.

Good health and well being:

  • The effect of being with an animal is very soothing especially for a person who doesn’t understand the society they are in right now.
  • The way we communicate with animals
    • Nonverbal; creates a common ground. Some children have challenges communicating with other people. If you are on a horse, that doesn’t matter. Verbal communication becomes less important.
  • The activity that helps the children strengthen their bodies, exercising their muscles, eg core muscles. If someone is sitting in a wheelchair all day, getting on a horse and keeping your back straight is an important exercise.


Reduced inequalities:

  • Riding a horse isn’t a common opportunity, the fact that they get to experience that, as well as having measures taken to cater to their disabilities reduces their stigmas of their own disabilities
  • Brings different ethnicities into the same room, reduces conflict and brings communities together, focusing on one goal. Breaking down the expat vs local communities. Abolishes possible stigmas.
  • We live our lives different to those we work with, and through this, we are raising awareness and learning and educating ourselves.
  • RDA: Horse riding for free; helping them engage in this activity that would otherwise be beyond their financial reach.


What we gain from RDA:

  • Reciprocal relationships: getting to know people outside your community, enhances and shapes interpersonal skills.
  • Getting to know more about different disabilities and breaks any barriers.
  • Working out how to change your sentence structures in order to have a strong conversation with your rider
  • Creates a solid bond with your rider
  • Getting us to think about goal settings; giving us an agenda and structure to the sessions
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