Ballina Riding for the Disabled (RDA) has celebrated their annual open day on July 30.
The forty-hectare property opened its gates to the public to showcase the work that is done to help people living with disabilities.
The Glen Burnie farm is home to ten horses and holds classes for varying experienced riders three days a week during school terms.
Many of the students who attend classes are children and President of the Ballina RDA district, Beatrice Gray, said the best part of her job is seeing their reactions when they sit in the saddle for the first time.
‘‘It’s amazing. The way their faces light up when they realise they’re in control,’’ Mrs Gray said.
The open day showcased demonstrations of lessons by local students and the skills they learn while attending classes.
‘‘We cater to a large range of people living with disabilities, from intellectual and physical disabilities to children and adults. And this day is all about showcasing how our horses and lessons can help people living with disabilities,’’ Mrs Gray said.
Many locals from surrounding areas attended the open day and Mrs Gray said there were a number of new sign-ups for classes.
A local resident from Ballina, Anna Rimac has been volunteering at the RDA for four years now and said there is a noticeable difference that she has seen in some of the students.
‘‘Some of the children tend to become a lot calmer and relaxed. The lessons are something for them to look forward to each week,’’ Mrs Rimac said.
The Ballina RDA district has been providing services to local people living with disabilities since 1979 and President Beatrice Gray said she will continue to help local people and provide classes into the future.