THE RDA Ireland (RDAI) this week made financial donations to riding establishments used by the organisation, to go towards the care and upkeep of the horses and ponies during the winter months and amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Recently the board of RDAI decided to offer financial support to riding establishments used by the organisation. We appreciate the most recent lockdown has been difficult for riding school owners, with little option to turn horses and ponies out to grass and a fall in revenue due to Government restrictions,” a spokesperson said.

“RDAI, on behalf of our riders, sent a meaningful donation to contribute to the care and upkeep of horses and ponies used by our groups. The riding schools’ owners were unaware that they would receive this support from RDAI.”

One volunteer who brings a pony each week: “I am entirely gobsmacked, as I consider it a privilege to bring him to the group ride each week and am so pleased and proud that he behaves so well and gives such pleasure to all our clients.” Another said: “It feels a bit like a helping hand from heaven!”

Although RDAI riding activities ceased in March 2020, RDAI has maintained communication with all its groups, coaches and area representatives; many of the groups have kept in touch with their volunteers through WhatsApp and via Zoom.

“We aim to recruit further volunteers and establish new groups in the future and continue to train and support our existing groups and volunteers. The past year has left a void in the lives of our riders and volunteers; we now appreciate how important the work we do is. We look forward to restarting as soon as possible,” the RDAI said.

If you would like to become part of the RDAI team, contact Dilys Lindsay or visit