FRIENDS: Sarah Carriage will be riding RDA's therapy horse Bosco along Grant St, Ballina, to her school formal.
FRIENDS: Sarah Carriage will be riding RDA's therapy horse Bosco along Grant St, Ballina, to her school formal. Contributed

Four-legged friend to take teen to formal

RIDING for the Disabled Ballina and District Branch received an unusual request from a rider who's been in the saddle since she was a little girl.

Sarah Carriage,who is completing her HSC this year at Ballina High, had a dream of riding a horse to her year 12 formal.

The event will be held on November 12 at Ballina RSL, and RDA was happy to oblige.

Ms Carriage will be riding Bosco along Grant St, Ballina, to arrive at Ballina RSL Club at 5.45pm, joining all her school friends to celebrate their final year at school.

Ms Carriage was very happy that her wish was granted.

"I began riding with RDA at age 4, 13 years ago," she said.

"I have mild cerebral palsy, which was the catalyst for beginning the journey at RDA.

"Although my disability can make me insecure at times, RDA has really helped me gain a sense of confidence."

Ms Carriage said riding horses has given her a great sense of freedom.

"It's given me my own sense of power, to be able to express yourself on a horse and learn with them," she said.

"Horse riding requires teamwork with you and the horse, and you need a great level of trust.

"RDA has helped me build bonds and inspire a passion for riding. I want to continue learning and developing my skills and hopefully one day I'll be able to care for a horse of my own. I wouldn't dream of having the skills I do if it weren't for RDA."

Bosco, the RDA horse Ms Carriage will be riding, is a shining example of what is required in a therapy horse.

Calm and sensible with a gentle nature, he cares for his riders with confidence and keeps them safe.

RDA Ballina was extremely lucky when a local farmer left his gorgeous 115 acre property in Teven to the organisation as a bequest.

Volunteers have worked hard raising funds and building infrastructure so that lessons for riders living with disabilities can be conducted every week.



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