Inspiration for the Happiness Horsebox

The RDA philosophy is to focus on removing the barriers to riding, driving and being with horses, as much as possible, so enabling people with disabilities to achieve their goals.  The story of Brenda and the team at Deeside RDA captures this spirit and has inspired us to focus on enabling adults to hack in special places.


Brenda has retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited degenerative eye disease that has left her completely blind for the past 20 years. She had never ridden before but she picked up the basics very quickly and before long was able to walk and trot on the lead rein and even ride a basic dressage test using ‘Talking Letters’.  Her goal was to ride along a beach splashing through the waves!

Her riding came on in leaps and bounds and she was soon trotting unaided. One day, a small group set off for the local beach in Aberdeen with two horses, five volunteers and one Lead Coach. The weather was perfect – blue skies and a gentle breeze and the beach was deserted with miles of golden sand. They walked and trotted, riding into the waves, taking photos and making memories.

For the volunteers it was a privilege to share this experience with Brenda. RDA is a team: everyone that had side walked, led, provided weekly transport or had some part in the organisation of the group played a part in Brenda’s achievement. To see the smile on her face made it all very worthwhile.

Our focus is to build on Deeside’s approach with the Happiness Horsebox. We plan to negotiate agreements to ride in private estates and woodlands, safely off the public road, to give riders the pleasure of hacking.  It has a suitable mounting mechanism of the lifting platform, (and an accessible loo, shelter and kitchen area for tea and cake!!)

It is also available to take riders to shows and lessons and to visit care homes and hospices.  We have an HGV operating licence and local authority licences, along with risk assessments, operating procedures and qualified drivers. Contact the Happiness Horsebox to find out how to book it for your group.