Enrolling your child on
the EAPD Program.

The first step is to read the EAPD Guideline for Riders. If your child fits our criteria please fill out the Rider Application Form.

Only when we have received and reviewed the Application Form, will your child be placed on our waiting list. Once there is a suitable space available, the EAPD team will contact you to learn more about your child and to schedule a time to meet at EAPD. This allows us to ensure that the student can be placed in the appropriate class.

EAPD Guideline for Riders

A minimum age of 4 years is required.

Where a rider is fully balanced, a maximum upper weight limit of 65 kg is applicable. A rider must be able to support their own weight and mount with the minimum of physical assistance, i.e. they need to be able to place their left foot into the stirrup, whilst supporting their own body weight, then swing their right leg over the horse and sit in the saddle gently with the minimum of physical help. Thereafter they need to be able to sit in a balanced position without support.

Where a rider is totally non weight-bearing and needs complete support to mount and dismount along with requiring physical support during the lesson, a maximum weight of 35 kgs is permitted.

Where a rider has poor balance and coordination and is unable to stand to mount/dismount the horse without some support, but needs little support once mounted, a maximum weight limit of 50 kgs is permitted.

The rider must have adequate stretch capacity in the legs to straddle the horse comfortably and to maintain this position for the duration of the lesson.

The rider must be able to hold an upright sitting position for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Given the nature and content of the EAPD Program we are unable to accept any riders with the following conditions:

  • Any type of inflammatory processes
  • Acute intervertebral disc problems
  • Atlanto–axial instability/poor head control
  • Severe or fixed scoliosis (spinal fixation)
  • Hip luxation/dislocation
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Seizures (if not controlled by medication)
  • Extreme allergies
  • Recent surgery
  • Severe behavioral problems

The EAPD facility can accommodate a maximum number of 4 wheelchair/pushchair users per group. However this may vary depending on the abilities of the riders and how much support they require from volunteers.

Where possible, EAPD will allocate each group on the basis of rider capability – not by age or disability likeness.

The above list is an indication of our main requirements, but is not exhaustive. We may feel we need to apply specific criteria to a certain rider upon assessment from the EAPD team. Ultimately the final decision as to whether or not a child is allowed to ride is at the sole discretion of EAPD and any decision is always made with the rider’s safety in mind.


Each rider shall be required, without exception, to provide the EAPD with a written disclaimer before riding. By visiting or participating in the EAPD Programs you agree to the terms and conditions.

Ultimately by attending the premises of Riding for Disabled Dubai (“EAPD”) and thereby interacting with horses, the surroundings, program facilities and equipment used as part of the program or visit, (“EAPD Programs”) the rider and their guardian acknowledge that such activities are inherently dangerous that may result in damage to my property, bodily injury, and/or death. Each rider by themselves and their guardian knowingly assume all risks (whether known or unknown, foreseeable or unforeseeable, or patent or latent) when participating in the EAPD Programs.

All visitor/riders relinquish, release and discharge all employees, representatives, appointed personnel, guardians, or owners of EAPD (hereafter collectively referred to as the “EAPD Group”) from, any and all rights, claims, and actions that they now have or that they may have in the future against EAPD Group, relating in any way to their participating in EAPD Programs or visiting the EAPD center.

Each visitor/rider agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold EAPD Group harmless from and against any and all losses, claims, damages, costs, expenses (including lawyer’s fees and costs) and other liabilities incurred by EAPD Group relating in any way to their participating in the EAPD Programs or visiting the EAPD Center.


All intellectual property in this website together with any materials provided at the EAPD Centre to include all patents, trade, service and other marks, registered designs, copyrights, design rights, trade and business names, database rights, domain names, moral rights and applications for any of the same, inventions, discoveries, improvements, designs, techniques, technical information, specifications, formulae, process methods and information and other protected rights, assets and know-how and any licences and permissions in connection with any of the same and the full right to all intellectual property and legal protection relating to the same, in any part of the world, including the right to sue for past infringements belong absolutely to EAPD unless otherwise indicated. No person shall be allowed to use the intellectual Property without the express written consent of EAPD.

FAQ’s for Enrollment

How can I get my child involved in EAPD lessons?

The first step is to read our riders' guidelines. If your child meets our criteria, please complete the rider application form. Only when we have received and reviewed the Application Form, will your child be placed on our waiting list. You will then be asked to bring your child along for assessment.

Are there any requirements?

EAPD caters to children and teenagers with special needs. The student needs to have been diagnosed with a disability. Each applicant must submit a completed medical history form, physician's consent form and a guardian consent form. The family or school must make the necessary arrangements to ensure that the rider will attend classes regularly. Failure to notify EAPD of the rider's absence on two occasions will result in his/her cancellation of their space with EAPD and the space being offered to someone else on our waiting list.

Are there any restrictions?

Certain precautions apply to some conditions (Down syndrome, spinal cord injury or disease, etc) and these can be discussed in more details with the EAPD team. Children must be at least four years of age, and there are some weight restrictions. Also, uncontrolled aggression towards people or animals would prohibit participation in the program.

Why can’t I choose the exact time for the riding lesson?

The rider needs to be scheduled into a suitable class so that he or she will ride with others of similar age and ability. Also, the right sized horse or pony needs to be available. And, most importantly, we need to have enough volunteers to ensure that the rider is safe.

Is therapeutic horseback riding safe?

EAPD follows international standards in order to make the lessons as safe as possible. This is why we ask your family doctor to complete a medical form and sign a physician's consent form verifying that the horseback riding is safe for your child. EAPD allocates one or two side walkers dependent on the child's disability and support needed.

How long is each lesson?

The instructor will determine the appropriate length of time for each lesson. Most classes are scheduled for approximately 45 minutes. However, depending upon age, attention span and type of disability some classes may be shorter.

Tell me about a typical riding lesson?

Each lesson begins with a warning up period to stretch muscles and help balance. The lesson activities are designed to focus on gross motor skills, fine motor skills, memory and sensory abilities for example. We do include basic riding skills like holding reins, steering and trotting, but, the therapeutic activities are our main focus.

At the end of each lesson the children will be taken for a walk outside the arena to relax and enjoy the beautiful environment of Desert Palm. The duration of the walk varies on the time left after the lesson activities are complete.

What should the rider wear?

The rider should wear long, comfortable trousers. Shorts, open toe shoes or sandals are not permitted. Riders must wear socks and shoes or boots which should have a heel. EAPD provides helmets, which are mandatory during the lesson.

Why do you use different activities each week?

Activities are an important part of many therapeutic riding lessons. They make the lessons more fun for the riders, volunteers and the instructor. Activities can benefit different areas of the riders abilities, such as social interaction, gross and fine motor skills, physical skills, etc.

All these activities reinforce basic riding skills, such as 'whoa', 'steering', 'walk on' – students are working on their riding skills while doing the activity.

How does this kind of therapy improve the children’s quality of life?

Therapeutic riding has been proven to improve children's confidence and self-assurance, as well as their strength, balance and coordination. It provides therapeutic muscle stimulation, enables riders to set and attain personal goals and, perhaps above all, it is enormous fun for both rider and horse.

Will my child learn to ride?

Your child will only learn basic riding skills such as holding reins, steering, etc. If you would like your child's riding skills to exceed a basic level we recommend you attend a mainstream riding school.

What else do I need to know?

EAPD has a waiting list of children who would like to ride. Therefore, if your child does not attend classes regularly, we will assume that attending a weekly class is difficult for your schedule or your child is not interested and we will make room for another rider. We understand some of our riders have medical difficulties but if a student is ill we expect parents to phone EAPD so that the appropriate number of volunteers can be scheduled for the day.

If a child does not attend two classes with adequate cancellation notice (3hours) then their space will be offered to another child.

A registration fee of AED 1000 per season applies. After the end of each season, the EAPD Team will decide whether your child will be offered a place for the next season.

The season runs from the end of October until the end of April.

All charges are subject to 5% VAT.

To volunteer here is actually 3-in-1 ! I can enjoy the beautiful, green, calm surroundings, do something for my body and mind, and help others! At the same time, I meet people with the same idea. It's just a wonderful experience every time.

Being involved here at the EAPD is a very rewarding experience. Seeing children blossom and gain confidence and motor skills is amazing. The setting is beautiful and tranquil, allowing the children to have a bit of quiet time as well.

Mujtaba enjoys his sessions at EAPD. His confidence level and self-esteem have built up. His posture has improved, and his communication skills have improved tremendously. Mujtaba’s overall muscle strength has increased. He knows the name of his horse and he waits eagerly every week to go to EAPD.

Yuzra's balance and posture has improved. She is very happy to mingle with people in EAPD. Her communication and social skills also show improvement.

Urpita comes down every Monday morning saying "Horse riding!" (with a big smile). Her balance has improved. Urpita’s trunk muscles are also strengthening with the exercise. She is now able to get down and climb up the steps of the bus independently.

Rider Application Form


Thank you for your interest. One of our instructors will get back to you shortly.​​

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