For thirteen-year old Maddy Pronk and her eleven-year-old sister Keni their Wednesday horse ride at Richmond Riding for the Disabled is a highlight of the week.
And those highlights for Maddy and Keni, along with other eighty or so Richmond RDA clients, will only increase thanks to the generosity of a local couple.
Thanks to this amazing giving couple, a new Richmond RDA Fund has been seeded that Top of the South Community Foundation will manage.
In time the new fund will provide consistent annual revenue that will assist Richmond RDA to continue to improve the programmes that their very special clients enjoy.
Victoria Brouwer, the Richmond RDA President, said that the gift was simply awesome and to know that their charity would have a sustainable income stream once the fund started making distributions was just heart-warming.
“There are so many incredible people out there such as our amazing workers, many of whom are volunteers, and to now have a gift like this arrive from left-field thanks to generous locals is just fantastic news.”
Maddy and Keni’s mum Ali said it’s been wonderful to see their daughters come out of their shells, and noted that riding gives them a real sense of purpose.
“The sisters are both on the autistic spectrum. For Keni it has helped with her anxiety and she has to work hard at remaining calm, as the horse will pick up on whatever the rider is feeling. Keni can feel overwhelmed at times, but the riding has helped her to relax.
“The coaches have become great mentors, and talking to them, and to the horses, has been a great way to help the girls develop social skills.
“It has been a fantastic experience for our girls. They’ve found somewhere they fit in, and it’s become their whole world”, Ali said.
Richmond Riding for the Disabled provides interaction with horses which assists in developing increased ability, independence and self-esteem for children and adults with physical, intellectual, emotional, and social challenges.
Each rider has individualised goals, to ensure the programmes provide the maximum benefits for them. Programmes are professional, effective, high quality and – most importantly- safe, with qualified Coaches and volunteers who must meet ongoing training requirements.
The warmth and three-dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider’s body delivering therapy that improves muscle tone, balance, posture, and co-ordination, as well as providing support and recreation and learning opportunities while riding.
To make a gift to the Richmond RDA go to :
All donations are tax deductible.