Our Horses

RDA gives lucky horses and ponies a new lease in life and career opportunities beyond just standing in the paddock once the kids have grown, or the horses have finished their dressage, show or performance lives.

Horses suitable for RDA work are trialed first, and given plenty of time to settle into their new roles and become familiar with the RDA’s indoor arena complex on Vyner Road, Otatara, before being combined with their riders. It may take as long as six months to get them ready for their new career.

Horses suitable for RDA work come from a variety of backgrounds and pathways, often ex-pony club, riding school or retired high performance horses. But whatever their background, they are the sort of horses who love people and are relatively unflappable.

Owners often lease or donate horses to the RDA, and they are trialed for their suitability before they are integrated into the RDA programs.

“Once they’ve finished their career with us, they are often returned to their previous owners or retired to pasture (in the company of their pony pals).”

The beauty of giving your horse or pony the chance for another lease on life, is it keeps them fit and mentally happy because they are being exercised regularly and have the company of other horses. They thrive.

We are also lucky in that we employ a horse care manager specifically to look after them and meet their daily needs. They are well looked after.

The type of horse most suited to RDA work are those between 13-15 hands, medium or heavier set types, including Gypsy Cobs, Connemaras, or Kaimanawa. However, the RDA Horse Care Team is happy to meet all horses to assess them for their suitability.

If you think you may have a horse or pony suitable for riding work at RDA, please contact RDA on 022 4144 708.

  • Wilbur the friendly giant
    Wilbur is our 15.2hh Bay Thorough Bred. He is 12 years old and loves rolling in his horse box before every riding session. He is a big smoochy giant that loves treats and cuddles.
  • Jake the beautiful buckskin
    Jake is a beautiful Welsh Buckskin. He is 20 years old. He loves taking all children for rides. He also goes for outings to pony club and especially loves carrots.
  • Mr T  is boombroof
    Mr T is a 13.2hh Welsh Grey Gelding. He is 14 years old and has the kindest nature. He loves cuddles and scratches. He is a valuable member of the team.
  • Humphrey is our fabulous cart pony
    Humphrey is a 10hh Dapple Grey Gelding. His is over 20 years old and is our main cart horse. He is a fabulous wee pony who loves carting kids around.
  • Miles our Mighty man
    Miles is a 20 year old 15.3hh bay standard bred. He is a big handsome mane that has a very quiet and cruisy nature. He loves all his riders.
  • The Lovely Bones
    Bones is a Thoroughbred and is 8 years old. He stands at 17hh. He is the biggest smooch and loves attention. He is very placid and easy going. Bones is a fabulous RDA horse.
  • Garcon
    Garcon is a 15hh Standard Bred, he is 8 years old. He is owned by one of our lovely volunteers who kindly leases him to us. Garcon is a great horse. He is kind and gentle and always loves scratches.
  • Toby
    Toby is our big Thorough bred x. He stands at 16.3hh and is owned by one of our volunteers who leases him to us. He is a big beautiful giant. He also attends pony club nights.
  • Toi Toi
    Toi Toi is a full height pony standing at 14.3hh. He is a Clydie X and is 19 years old. He has done pony club, eventing, hunting and show jumping. He loves being ridden and rolling in the mud. His favourite thing is getting head scratches.

Southland Group NZ Riding for the Disabled

P: (03) 213 0464  E: