Riding For The Disabled

We are delighted to offer Riding for the Disabled. This is one of the newest RDA groups in the South East and our facilities include a large outdoor riding school and easy access to bridleways in Hastings Country Park.

For further information please contact us on 07931 617613 or email rda@fairlighthall.co.uk .

The simple pleasure of working with horses is the cornerstone of all RDA’s activities. From that starting point everything else flows – be that freedom of movement, gaining confidence, building relationships, receiving life-enhancing physiotherapy or achieving individual goals.

Medical professionals recognise that there are significant therapeutic benefits for the rider. The warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the rider’s body, gradually making it more relaxed and supple, strengthening core stability, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and co-ordination.

Riding offers an element of risk, often denied to many people, especially those who have been affected by an accident or serious illness and offers them the chance to regain mobility and a sense of achievement. People with congenital disabilities discover a new freedom in movement. Those with progressive diseases can retain mobility and remain active for longer.

A Charity Registered in England & Wales (No 1170498)

Number of Horses
Riders Per Week
Sessions Provided This Year

Volunteer with us

We are so grateful to our incredible team of around twenty-five volunteers, who give their time generously in many ways to help make our Group such a success. Many of our volunteers go way beyond the call of duty and a big thank you to everyone, you are greatly appreciated.

If you are interested in volunteering with us, please contact us on 07931 617613, who will talk through the volunteering roles available. Volunteering can range from practical to administration, so please do get in touch if you would be interested in joining us.

A big thank you also to our supporters and funders. All fundraising is vital in helping us continue making it possible, through horses and ponies, to provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities.

Our Supporters
Kowitz Family Trust
Rother Rural Trust
Fairlight Parish Council

and those listed below.


Thank you for your support

Doggy Extravaganza!

Sunday, 22 September, 2019

Our first Doggy Extravaganza was a huge success! We raised around £1,700 and a fun time was had by all. The rain held off and around sixty stall holders braved the predicted weather to support us. 

Eastbourne Dog Training Club kindly donated their expertise and equipment to run ‘have a go’ agility sessions, which were a huge success and great fun.  Pampered Paws of Rye also donated their experience to run fun dog show classes, which saw some wonderful dogs and proud owners winning rosettes. DITTO Diamond Display Team gave everyone a rest at lunch to put on a great dog display, which kept everyone enthralled.  A police dog handler also called in for meet and greet sessions, which was greatly enjoyed.

Thank you so much to Eastbourne Dog Training Club,  DITTO Diamonds Display Team, Pampered Paws of Rye for donating their time. In addition of course, the day would not have been possible without all our volunteers running raffles, cake stalls, making tea and flipping burgers.

Finally of course, thank you to our supporters who came along to participate, have fun all for a very worthy cause. Your attendance was very much appreciated.



Many Congratulations to Zoe, one of our regular riders and volunteers at Fairlight Hall RDA. Zoe has won the RDA Creative Writing Competition!

Thursday 16 May 2019

Alastair Stewart OBE, lead newscaster for ITN judged the RDA creative writing competition this year and Zoe has won the letter writing class, with the theme of celebration! Well Done Zoe from all of us, we are thrilled for you.

Here’s what Alastair said:

“I shed a tear reading this beautifully-written letter. It is rich in emotion and is perfectly crafted. The letter describes how the horses and staff took a ‘weak, frustrated, anxious, sad and low’ rider and brought ‘richness, positivity and priceless impact’ to her life. If RDA exists to do anything, it is what Zoe has described – so beautifully and movingly.”

Zoe added “The RDA has been a game changer for me this year, both mentally and physically and I owe it to them, to Arthur, the other ponies, the fabulous team at Fairlight Hall and the friends and family who have ridden, and continue to ride this rocky journey of life with me”.

RDA is a registered charity, which was established just over three years ago. It is the newest group in the South East, operates full-time and is situated in the grounds of Fairlight Hall just outside of Hastings. The goal of the RDA is to help the mentally and physically disabled by improving awareness, communication, confidence and decision-making through horse riding and caring for horses.

It is a relaxed and fun environment where students not only get to ride horses and compete in National Championships, but also get hands-on experience with horse care.

During the past year, the RDA has been actively fundraising and has received generous grants from The Gregg’s Foundation, Fairlight Parish Council, the Rother Rural Trust, the Kowitz Family Foundation, and with building supplies generously donated by STAMCO. They have an active group of supporters and volunteers, and would love to hear from anyone who would be interested in joining the group.

“It was a real pleasure to meet with both volunteer instructors and members of RDA. Organisations such as RDA provide an invaluable opportunity of enabling people with disabilities to excel in sport. Success in one area can contribute significantly to success in other walks of life, as individuals are emboldened to take on new challenges and set their sights on achieving new goals.” Amber added: “I would like to thank the members of RDA for putting on such a first-class show for me and would urge those who have not yet done so to get involved.”
Amber Rudd - October 2018

News and Events

Doggy Extravaganza!

Sunday 22nd September 2019

11.00am – 2pm

RDA Stables, Fairlight Hall

We’re planning our first doggy fundraising event, of course the ponies will be available for pats!

We will have a barbecue, all sorts of stalls, dog display, dog agility and eight classes into which to enter your pooch.

Please come along with or without a furry friend, we’d love to see you.

Friday 12th – 14th July 2019

RDA National Championships

Hartpury College, Gloucester

Wish us luck – we are off to the RDA National Championships!

The RDA National Championship is the RDA’s flagship event, bringing together hundreds of competitors of all abilities in events including Carriage Driving, Countryside Challenge, Dressage, Showjumping, Vaulting and Showing.

The Championships has grown year on year and is now bigger than the Paralympics and Para World Championships combined. In previous years it has proved a springboard for the Paralympics, with many of the current Team GB having competed at The Championships.

Since 2002, the RDA National Championships have been held at Hartpury College in Gloucester. Riders who compete at the Championships will have first qualified at a Regional Qualifying Competition in one of our eighteen Regions. Riders from all over the country compete at the Championships and come away with a sense of achievement, great confidence, new friends – not to mention the odd rosette!

Sunday 12th May 2019

Annual Fete

Fairlight Hall RDA Centre

One for your diaries!

We’d love to see you at our Annual Fete which was such a great success last year. Do please make a note and come along. More details to follow, but one thing is for sure, we’ll have loads of FUN!

Friday 13th July to 15th July 2018

RDA National Championships

Hartpury College, Gloucester

Thursday 28th June 2018

RDA Endurance Challenge Day 2018

Underriver Farm, Sevenoaks, Kent

Some of our riders will be attending the Endurance Riding Challenge Day in Sevenoaks, Kent. Riders will have the opportunity to complete a course of 1km, 2km or 3km. Please look at our Facebook page for some photos from the day.

Thursday 24th May 2018

South East Regional Dressage Qualifier 2018

Hickstead Showground, Haywards Heath

We are excited to be taking our clients, along with horses and ponies, to the Dressage qualifier at the Hickstead Showground on Thursday 24th May 2018.

The object of dressage is to improve balance, control, mobility, memory and freedom. Riding the movements required for a test and maintaining a good rhythm increase the awareness of balance and control. RDA dressage tests range from led, with helpers, at walk, to canter tests with lateral movements. The challenge of learning a test, riding it accurately and performing to the best of the horse’s ability, has many positive benefits.

Dressage gives an opportunity for riders to show a judge, parents, friends and helpers what has been achieved during the riding sessions. It can also help a coach to set goals, allowing the riders to demonstrate often hidden reservoirs of determination to achieve and can vividly show the benefits of previous coaching.