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Avon Riding Centre is a member group of the RDA (Riding For the Disabled Association) and aims to provide accessible riding for all abilities.


The Avon Centre has excellent facilities, including a large indoor arena and floodlit outdoor all weather surface arena. We offer lessons to riders with additional needs and support requirements (physical, intellectual, communication, sensory, behavioural, etc) from beginners working at walk, to those more capable and independent riders working at all paces and show jumping. We run in-house dressage and show jumping competitions for RDA riders during school holidays. Some of our riders are also able to represent the Group in annual Regional and National Competitions run by the RDA.  There is, however, no pressure to enter competitions for those who simply want to achieve their personal goals. We have extensive land for hacking and a simulator (mechanical horse) which can be used to improve fitness, balance, core strength and to practise aspects of riding.

RDA Riding

Lessons provide therapy, enjoyment and achievement to riders with a wide range of impairments and disabilities. Our RDA Coordinator is happy to discuss the potential benefits to a particular participant or disability before an application is made, if required.

See also The Therapeutic Benefits

Children must be 4 + and attending Reception at school; there is no upper age limit. Riders must weigh no more than our current weight limit of 12 1/2 stone in full riding clothes, including hat and outdoor clothing in the winter. We consider all applications on an individual basis and there are very few riders we are unable to accommodate. For some riders we may need to request a recommendation from a clinician or have confirmation from a medical professional that your condition does not preclude you from riding (section 2 of the registration form).


Once a space becomes available that may be suitable for you, you will be invited in for an assessment with an RDA Coach. Once riding, we regularly review progress and goals and are happy to share these with participants.


To apply please email You will be contacted for an assessment session when we have a space that might be appropriate for you. We have a long waiting list, particularly for children.

We offer stable management and individual lessons during school holidays subject to availability.

Click here for testimonials.

RDA Mechanical Horse Simulator

The Avon Centre has a Racewood mechanical horse simulator housed in a large, heated and well-lit room in the main building. It can be used to support therapeutic riding and rehabilitation post-accident or surgery, to improve riding fitness or to practice and improve riding skills.

It is approximately the size of a 16hh horse and has 5 speeds: walk, slow trot, active trot, canter and fast canter. It has a ‘big’ movement not usually experienced in a riding school horse and a rhythmical, life-like motion. It can be used by riders weighing up to 15 stone (95kg).

Its use can supplement clinical physiotherapy. It will deliver a full therapeutic lateral action at all paces, improving muscle tone and strength and allowing riders to gain confidence and skills in a safe and controllable environment. It improves balance and posture, stamina and strength and never gets bored or tired! The mirrors in the room can be used to help improve body awareness and focus.

The coach can control the speed directly if necessary, stopping the simulator at the press of a single button if required.

Alternatively the simulator has rein sensors (for downward transitions) and leg sensors (for upward transitions) allowing the rider to practice, or experience, a range of paces and aids.

Our experienced coaches can deliver a session to meet your needs, allowing you to concentrate on yourself and not worry about what the horse is doing now or might do next! It is suitable for use by all riders (RDA and non-disabled), no matter what your riding skills or goals might be.

Alternatively, you might choose to bring your own coach/physiotherapist.

If you have any questions about RDA riding, your place on the waiting list or non ridden opportunities please contact Kim - 

RDA Term Dates 2023-2024


Term 1

Term 2

Term 3

Term 4

Term 5

Term 6

Start date

Tuesday 5/9/23

Tuesday 31/10/23

Thursday 4/1/24

Tuesday 20/2/24

Tuesday 16/4/24

Tuesday 4/6/24

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Finish date

Saturday 21/10/23

Saturday 16/12/23

Saturday 10/2/24

Thursday 28/3/24 *

Saturday 25/5/24

Saturday 20/7/24

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