Volunteer Opportunities

We welcome new volunteers to help with all aspects of our weekly rallies.

No previous experience with horses or people with disabilities is necessary as training is given. All volunteers follow NZRDA standardised training programmes to achieve the required proficiency. Totara Park Group has a number of coaches. Some are progressing towards completing their NZQA qualifications to become RDA Equine Coaches.

We also involve therapists and specialists who work with the coaches and sidewalkers to ensure the rider gets the maximum therapeutic benefit from the movement of the horse.

With every horse or pony we have a leader and either one or two side walkers, depending on the ability of the rider.

Volunteering is fun and healthy!

Volunteering with RDA offers you the opportunity:

  • to work with horses and learn more about them
  • to meet people and make new friends from all walks of life
  • to learn new skills
  • to benefit from exercise while walking with the riders
  • to travel the country to conferences, seminars, etc.
  • to help enrich the lives of people with disabilities in the community

What hours do we work?

On riding days (Monday and Thursday during school terms and weather permitting) we need our volunteers to assist with riders or act as horse leaders for the following times:

Mondays 8:30am - 1:30pm [Session starts at 9am]
Tuesdays 8.30 – 12.30pm [Session starts at 9am]
Thursdays 8.45am - 1:00pm [Session starts at 9.15am]

There are 3 riding sessions each day. Some volunteers may not be able to stay for all rides but we are grateful for what time they can give us.

Volunteer hours are not just restricted to our riding days. Maybe you can't volunteer during the day but are interested in being part of RDA. Here is a list of other areas where we need volunteers.

  • We own 8 TPRDA horses which all need daily attention
  • Rider files, individual rider therapy plans, training programmes, rosters, etc., all need formulating and updating
  • Committee work - including finance, PR, etc.
  • Fundraising committees spend many hours raising money to help cover our expenses.
  • It is estimated that over 25,000 volunteer hours are spent each year on our RDA Group
We are always looking for more volunteers!

Contact Us

Volunteer of the Year 2019 - Doug Humby

The Jill Stevenson’s cup is awarded in recognition of the commitment and dedication shown and an acknowledgement of how highly we value our volunteers. 

Last year's award went to Doug Humby, a reliable, kind, creative person who quietly gets things done. On Monday’s and Tuesday’s, he can be seen arriving early to put out the cones and safety barriers. He then puts in full days side-walking with the riders and is one of those legends who cleans up the arena during RDA sessions. He can often be spotted looking through the lens of his camera and his photographs bring much joy to many people. He is highly commended and valued by all at TPRDA.

When a call came for additional volunteer support for the Tuesday riding sessions I put my hand up…why did I do that I ask myself, I’m retired and already committed! And that’s the cue…commitment and being passionate about what one does. Especially so when you are able to witness, in your heart daily, the results RDA produces for the many and varied disabilities we have amongst our riders.

Thank you. Doug Humby