Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities – November 2011 Spotlight

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities (PRDA) is a Langley based charity that provides provide therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. Established in 1973, PRDA is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for people with a wide range of disabilities.

Therapeutic horseback riding provides children and adults with numerous benefits including improving balance and coordination, increased confidence, and the excitement of movement “free of any mechanical aids.” Participants also get a chance to bond with the horses, make friends and have fun while receiving therapy.

But therapy here is more than just riding the horses. Children also play various games such as bowling from the backs of the horses. Children learn things like their numbers and colours while strengthening their motor skills.

The program runs in four sessions throughout the year and currently serves 160 riders. The classes are so popular that there is a waiting list. PRDA subsidizes 75% of the costs of the lessons and offers a variety of programs.

The Pegasus Program is directed towards young children who have been abused and the therapy helps the children learn to feel in control again, to trust again, and to laugh again. Adults with mental disabilities can join the Phonix Program to practice riding in a safe and welcoming environment. Other programs include vaulting, the Spirit program for young riders and the Sport Rider program for experienced youth and adults.

How You Can Help:

Equipment Donations: PRDA can always use things like feed, bedding, fence boards or crusher dust and their big dream is to find a newer tractor and a gator.

Financial Donations: Because PRDA does not receive any government funding they rely on the generosity of individuals and corporations. If you are interested in helping financially you can sponsor a horse or a rider or set up a monthly contribution.

Volunteer: Running the program takes over 130 volunteers each week to assist the riders. Other volunteers help out with things like maintenance and special events. If you would like to volunteer they ask for a minimum time commitment of 2 hours a week per 12 week session. There are a variety of time slots available. Volunteers are provided with a 3 hour training session where they learn the proper techniques for working with the horses and the kids. Call the Volunteer Coordinator at 604-530-8717 or visit their website to find out more.

Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities 
1088 – 208th Street, Langley
Ring: 604.530.8717 


Contributor: Kelly Neufeld

Kelly Neufeld is a freelance writer who lives in Abbotsford with her husband and their two daughters. In addition to writing articles for the Fraser Valley Pulse, Kelly is a contributing writer & Marketing Coordinator for Impowerage Magazine. She enjoys spending time with her family, staying active and shopping.

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