CHARLESTON AREA THERAPEUTIC RIDING INC

Rating: 4.9 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Animals, Health, Sports

Location: PO Box 146 Johns Island SC 29457 USA

Mission: Therapy for Disabled Children and Adults

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My son Jackson is 7 years old and has been riding with CATR for about 3 years. Jackson has Autism and communication has always been a weakness for him. Seeing my son interact with "Charlie" as well as Dee (his instructor) and the volunteers has been an amazing experience. He has a connection with these horses and these people that I don't see very often, and I am so thankful for all they have done for my son. His language is exploding, his core strength and balance are improving, and he even has a special song he sings to "his" horse at the beginning and end of each session, and that in and of itself is fantastic since he can speak very little. My heart felt love and appreciation goes out to everyone at CATR for all that they give, and all that they do.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

in watching my son improve.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It would be awesome if they had a covered arena.....maybe one day.

Thank you so much Tanya! Jack is such a wonderful boy, and we have loved having him over the years.

Rating: 5 stars  

I've had the good fortune to observe the programs at CATR Farm on several occasions. CATR is a model of community service in action - in a unique and beautiful locale. Being in and around the CATR environment benefits anyone there, whether or not they have (clinically defined) special needs.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being there.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Help to fund and build a covered riding ring.

Thank you so much Grayson! We have always appreciated all the support you have given us! Thanks for the review!

Rating: 5 stars  

I am a retired principal. I was able to receive therapeutic riding for my TMD students. I can tell a story of a miracle. One of my students could not sit up nor did she seem to react to any stimulus. The class went to their scheduled riding day and this student went for the first time. (some thought it would be pointless) . Teacher and I insisted that she go. She was placed on a horse, She sat up and then began stroking the horse's neck. This was the beginning of her new life.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I know that this organization is truly dedicated to children and their safety. Their knowledge of how to select correct animals to health benefits for children is amazing.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would make this organization a part of a student's IEP.

Thank you so much for your words Ms. Sausser! We always enjoyed having your students come out to ride with us. We appreciate all you do to let others know about the services we can provide.

Rating: 5 stars  

Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding has been instrumental in helping me steer my career in a new direction. When I moved South to Charleston about 3 years ago, I had quit my position in business world, and was on a mission to find a more meaningful occupation, ideally one which would allow me to positively impact the lives of others. I contacted CATR researching volunteer, or possible employment opportunities, and have been volunteering at CATR ever since. The staff is professional, courteous, creative and everyone goes the extra mile to accommodate the riders, volunteers and to make sure the horses are taken care of well. Through my volunteer work at CATR, and having made friends with several staff members who offered a wealth of advice, experience and ideas, I was inspired to explore the field of occupational therapy as a possible career choice. Seeing the riding instructors at CATR interact with the students, being able to help with the lessons, and part-taking in the sense of accomplishment and pride reflected on the riders' faces astride the horses have truly been a life-changing opportunity that this organization has afforded me. I am now enrolled at the Medical University of South Carolina in my second year of OT school. Thanks, CATR!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Please see my review above. I have seen riding students advance throughout CATR's sessions and become more confident, stronger and more independent riders. I have seen countless smiles, proud family members watching on the sidelines and special bonds being formed between horses and riders.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get a covered riding arena to eliminate weather-related cancellations.

Thanks Mira! We have enjoyed having you involved in our program as well. You are going to make a great OT!!!

Rating: 5 stars  

This is such a wonderful place! I have been working at CATR for almost a year now and hope to stay for many more! As one of the horse feeders i personally know that they take great care of all of the horses and riders, also being there i have seen so many children & adults blossom and glow when they are riding. CATR has such a wonderful program whether its the therapeutic, community or special events they take care of their students wonderfully!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Through the smiles of children and adults that were once scared to be around horses and are now riding like stars!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn’t change anything! CATR is absolutely a amazing place!

Thank you Chelsea! We love you too! Thank you for taking such good care of our four legged friends!

Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered with CATR on and off for 5 years now and am always so impressed with how well the organization is run and with the great people who work there. They are truly thankful for the volunteers and dedicated to the clients they serve. I am happy to give my time to such a wonderful organization!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing how the riders grow and learn from therapy.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I don't have any suggestions for change.

Thank you so much for your kind words Kelly. We are happy to have you back with us volunteering.

Rating: 4 stars  

I have only been working with this organization for a little over a year, but I can certainly vouch for the fact that this program has a significant impact in people’s lives. I found CATR on volunteermatch.com & became intrigued after viewing their website. The volunteer coordinator, Dee, is an extremely sweet lady who helped me through the qualification process. My first day volunteering was with Dee & another woman who works at CATR. Both were friendly, knowledgeable, & overall very helpful in making me feel comfortable & letting me know exactly how things work at their facility, what lessons entail, etc.

I have worked with several children in my short time with this organization. Although they had different life experiences (several were Autistic, one had Cerebral Palsy, etc.), I can tell that their time spent with CATR is not only enjoyable for them, but beneficial as well. It brings me great joy to watch them ride around the area, practice trotting, etc. They get the biggest smiles on their faces!! :) I find it nothing short of amazing how much this program can advance children with disabilities. It is very interesting to me that riding lessons can assist with so many different factors in a person’s life- social interaction, emotional behavior, independence, etc. One child I have worked with used to be extremely timid & scared to even touch a horse- now he rides with a smile on his face! I am proud to be a volunteer at CATR & can’t wait to see what the future holds for this organization.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have witnessed the many benefits & progress of children that receive lessons from CATR. I have also seen first-hand the joy that it brings them & their families. There are always many smiles around the barn!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Honestly, I would not change a thing about the way they run the organization. They have such a friendly, patient, & caring staff. I suppose if I had to choose something to change, I would increase their budget so they were able to help more people in the community.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Sometimes my work schedule interferes with the volunteer times, but I would still like to help as much as possible. But I'm not sure that there is anything they can do about this!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Certainly. I have met amazing people, got to interact with children in the Charleston area, see how this program is beneficial to them... I really enjoy volunteering for CATR & will definitely continue to do so in the future.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Refreshed, helpful, happy... part of something significant.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review Ashley. We are so thankful for dedicated people like you who make all that we do possible!

Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter Peyton had her second lesson today. Peyton is my miracle baby. I never expected her to live, when she lived, I never thought she would walk, let alone ride a horse.

Peyton is drawn to these animals and looks forward to her lessons. The workout she gets is intense and wears her out. Peyton is engaged and focused on her therapy while riding Charlie her therapy horse. Her instructor Amanda is a perfect fit for peyton and understands her completely! I have no worries.

I am amazed by how many volunteers it takes to give this service to special needs children and I am grateful that Peyton has the opportunity to participate.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

This is an amazing organization. We can't wait to become more involved and find out more ways we can support CATR.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get the word out about CATR and how wonderful they are.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

Through a friend.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Thank you so much Beth! Peyton has been a wonderful addition to our program, and we love having her come out. Thank you for your support!

Rating: 5 stars  

As an adult student taking lessons through the Community Lessons program at CATR, I have witnessed some of the beautiful work they do with our area schools and children. CATR farms management and staff have created an environment that hums with care, happiness, warmth and good intentions combined with skilled instruction. My lessons often coincide with the Therapeutic lessons and it has been a true pleasure witnessing the joy of the children playing and riding on the farm. I believe that this is a valuable resource to our community in that it offers a unique environment in which to heal. This doesn't just apply to the Therapeutic Riding students, but to anyone taking lessons at CATR! In my personal experience as a student at CATR, I have been able to diminish symptoms of my own in my struggle with PTSD. I have found that grooming the horses of CATR and riding once a week has greatly reduced the anxiety that comes along with dealing with traumatic experiences. I have been riding at other barns and I can attest to the fact that CATR's healing environment is not only unique, but also worthy of community support of any kind (donations, volunteers, lessons).

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've personally witnessed many of the therapeutic students' riding and the joy that comes in their contact with the horses or even just being present on the farm. I have also found relief from psychological issues that have not responded to traditional therapy (PTSD).

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I understand that we have been asked to offer constructive criticism, however, there is very little that I can offer in the way of suggestions on how to make CATR a better place. Every volunteer, instructor and barn staff-member I've met have been skilled, kind and hard working.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

How did you find this group?

I was simply looking for lessons in the area. CATR was the *only* barn that was staffed and were able to help me right away. It took the remainder of the barns in the area three days to return my call.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Thank you so much for sharing your experience here at CATR Farms. We are so glad you enjoy your time here.

Rating: 5 stars  

I learned about CATR Farms when I was looking for Non-profits in need of volunteers. I learned that my schedule just does not fit with their schedule of classes so volunteering has not been possible. However, they have several other ways to help support their efforts; the one I am most active with is the community lessons. Our tuition helps support the barn financially and as we all know every penny helps when it comes to non-profits.

While spending the last several months at the barn every Friday, I learned and witnessed what a special group of people run and teach at this barn. In addition to the horses; a mule, several cats, and a few dogs are roaming the grounds. It is clear how much these animals are treasured by all students, barn hands, teachers, etc. As for the whole purpose of CATR, the therapeutic riding, I cannot think of an environment so welcoming and accepting of ALL people. I had the pleasure of witnessing a young man make a huge step forward in his therapy by actually putting his leg over the horses back and eventually sitting for a few minutes. I was told by my trainer that when he first came to CATR, the therapists could not get him to even touch the horse. How AMAZING!!!!! During my volunteer training, I learned some of the success stories from CATR's therapeutic riding program which included students with speech issues learning to use their voices, student with touch issues learning that being touched is not a terrible thing, and students with various different physical disabilities developing their strength to various different levels.

The dedication of the team at CATR is unsurpassed and I am honored to have had the opportunity to meet these wonderful people and to be able to help support such a fantastic service.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

spending every week at the barn interacting with the trainers, barn hands, and operational people.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would not change a single thing.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

How did you learn about this organization?

I was looking for non-profits in need of volunteers and found CATR through a volunteer match.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Thank you so much Kelly for your kind words! The CATR Staff

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