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RDA Horse Riding

Heathrow Special Needs Centre is approved by the Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)

Riding at the centre is all about improving posture and balance. It gives confidence raises self-esteem and helps with gross and fine motor skills. All this whilst enjoying a relationship with the riding team, the horses and, very importantly, having fun.

For more information or registration please contact

Riders must be aged 5 or over

Fees:  £22.00 per session

The first lesson is an assessment and charged as a normal riding lesson

Riding is prebooked. The riding fee is payable if a riding lesson is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice.

We accept most cards. Fees payable at the time of the riding lesson. 

Equipment & clothing: We can provide hats if required but all riders need to wear sensible shoes or boots with a small heel, wellington boots are ideal.

How does it benefit our riders?

Horse riding is a non-weight bearing activity. As such it benefits riders with cerebral palsy and other neurological disorders. The three-dimensional movement of the horse goes through the riders body, gradually making them more relaxed and supple, strengthening core stability, reducing spasms and improving balance, posture and coordination.

A varied riding session content, where appropriate, such as stretches, exercises and/or games, challenges, as well as riding school movements, such as straight lines, figures of eight, circles, halts and changes of pace add to the riding experience.

The gentle rhythm of the horse and repetition of challenges helps with autism spectrum disorder, development delay, Down's syndrome and learning or language disabilities. In fact, there are very few conditions that we cannot accommodate. As well as recreational benefits, there are psychological benefits. Riders are encouraged to take control of the horse and make decisions, which in turn improves communication skills.

An often overlooked benefit is that riders are offered an element of risk, which is often denied them elsewhere. This gives a sense of achievement. Furthermore, riders with congenital disabilities discover a new freedom in movement and those with progressive diseases can retain mobility and remain active for longer.

Our horses

The centre has three horses which cater for a wide range of riders.

Pirelli joined us in 2017. He is an ex polo pony 21 years of age and is very friendly.


Chispa joined us 2 years ago. He is an ex polo pony aged 22 years (pictured here with Mark a volunteer).


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