In January of 1973, PRDA was incorporated under the Society Act, an initiative of the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre and the Southlands Riding Club of Vancouver. The first programs were held at Southlands, and our Vancouver Branch continues to operate from Southlands Riding Club. Shortly after, a branch began operating in Langley, and the land was very generously willed to us by Phae Collins. The head office continues to operate in Langley, and each year we have the Phae Collins Memorial Horse Show to honour her legacy. It is an extremely popular annual event at PRDA, drawing riders and families from other therapeutic riding facilities as well.
Our current facility, surrounded by Campbell Valley Regional Park, has been home to PRDA since May 1998. In 2002, we completed a second covered arena, which has allowed us to increase our rider capacity. Our latest projects have included enclosing the second covered arena, building new paddocks for our herd, and adding shelters to the new paddocks. We also constructed a very comfortable enclosed heated viewing lounge to watch the riders in comfort, which also serves as a meeting or instruction room.
We currently operate 44 weeks per year, providing three sessions of lessons each year (Fall, Winter, and Spring). This gives over 150 riders per session the benefit of equine-assisted therapy. We open our doors for an added summer session to include riders of any ability who don’t normally participate during regularly scheduled lessons. All of this would not be possible if not for a dedicated team of about 90 volunteers who commit their energy and time on a weekly basis.