Our mission: To use horses to improve the lives of individuals with physical, intellectual or mental health difficulties and challenges.
Come and join us!
Sessions last 30 minutes and there are no sessions on Fridays or at the weekends. The maximum size of each session is 5 participants.
The history of Gordon RDA goes back to the 1970s when a group of people who wanted to share their love of riding and horses with disabled children and started as a very small activity in a local riding school. For a while, as the group grew, we moved around a number of venues, until in 1993, thanks to the drive of the then Trustees and the kindness and generosity of the Earl and Countess of Kintore, we relocated to our present purpose-built facility which we lease at Tweeddale, in Keithhall Estate near Inverurie.
Gordon RDA is now established in a purpose-built centre at Tweeddale, Keithhall Estate, Inverurie, AB51 0LU, with 7 ponies and more than 50 regular clients. Gordon RDA is a volunteer-based organisation. Our more than 70 wonderful, dedicated volunteers largely run our services.
Gordon RDA is a member of the National Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA), and of the Grampian and Highland Regional RDA. We are a registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SC028676).
We have a 20x40m indoor riding arena which has a special waxed surface which is ideal for both helpers the horses and ponies. We also have a sand arena outside for outdoor riding in the summer when the weather allows!
We have seven stables for our seven horses and ponies and a range of other buildings which house the hay and feed store, the tack store, the toilets and the laundry facilities.
Our seven wonderful ponies have been carefully selected because they are kind and calm, suitable for equine therapy. The ponies are all firm favourites with the volunteers and participants with participants often developing strong attachments to particular ponies.
Gordon RDA is a volunteer-based organisation. We have various teams of people and of course we have our ponies.
We have teams who run the sessions and care for the participants, they are the RDA trained specialist session coaches, the session coordinators and the leaders and side helpers. We have a team of grooms and volunteers who look after the ponies in all weathers throughout the year.
Gordon RDA is managed by a board of Trustees who are responsible for the overall governance and financing of the group. They aim to make sure we can continue to offer the benefits of equine therapy to our participants. The board has a chairperson, a secretary, a treasurer, a resource manager and a volunteer and rider liaison manager.
I have been involved with Gordon RDA on and off since the 1980s. Apart from a lifelong and ongoing involvement with ponies and horses, I bring some business background and governance experience to the board.
I have been involved with Gordon RDA since 2017 when I took on the role of Treasurer. I am an accountant by profession so bring financial knowledge to the board.
I have been involved with Gordon RDA since 2018 when I took on the role of Secretary. I have a lifelong and ongoing involvement with horses and ponies, and many years ago passed my AI exams. I bring professional experience in Human Resources to the board.
I joined the board in 2018 when I took on the role of Trustee with responsibility for resource management. I have a lifelong and ongoing involvement with horses and ponies. Professionally I am a chartered mechanical engineer with many years’ experience as a senior manager in the oil and gas industry. I bring project management, safety, maintenance and engineering expertise to the board.
Juno is a grey gelding. He was born in 2000 and at 12.hh is our smallest pony. He is a Welsh cross. He may be small, but he is a big character and is loved by all his riders. His best friends are Tony and Buddy. Being grey he can really make his mud baths special!
Tony is a dun gelding. He is 14.2hh and was born in 2002. He is a Norwegian Fjord pony and has a very interesting mane. Our riders particular love his mane when it is cut into zigzags. He is best friends with Juno and Buddy.
Buddy is our second dun gelding. He is 14.2hh and was born in 2003. He is a Highland pony and is best friends with Juno and Tony.
Harvey is our second grey gelding. He is 13.2hh and was born in 2003. He is a New Forest pony and is best friends with Harry, Jack and Callum.
Harry is a black gelding with a white blaze on his face and four white socks. He is 14.2hh and was born in 2005, so is one of our younger ponies. He has an enormous moustache which everyone loves! He is friends with Harvey, Jack and Callum.
Jack is a dark bay gelding. He has a white blaze and star on his face and only one white sock, this is the best way to tell the difference between him and Harry. He is 15.1hh and was born in 2005, so is one of our younger ponies. He is an Irish pony and is best friends with Harry, Harvey and Callum.
Callum is is a dark bay gelding. He is 15hh and was born in 2010, so is the youngest of our ponies.
He is a Highland pony and is best friends with Harvey, Harry and Jack.
If you would like to volunteer, participate or get involved with the RDA please do not hesitate to get in touch.