Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program

Rating: 4.95 stars   19 reviews

Issues: Animals, Mental Health, Sports

Location: 2626 Heritage Park Drive Virginia Beach VA 23456 USA

Mission: EQUI-KIDS serves more than 80 special needs individuals each week who have mental, physical, emotional, social or learning disabling conditions, including but not limited to; Down syndrome, autism, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, mental and physical disabilities, attention deficit disorder, and more.
Target demographics: With thousands of special needs individuals residing in Southeastern Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina, EQUI-KIDS remains steadfast in our resolve to expand our therapeutic riding program within the disabled community. We have successfully increased ridership 15-25% each 8-week session with a goal to offer services to more than 100 riders per session.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My son has thoroughly enjoyed the experience of horseback riding. The staff are amazing, especially the instructors. They truly want these riders to connect with the horses and feel joy in the experience--and they do! The program is very well run, with reliable volunteers and always excellent care for the horses and attention to safety for everyone.

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

my son's enjoyment of horseback riding

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

i can't think of anything I would change

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Rating: 5 stars  

Equi-Kids is a GREAT place! The program is very organized and the riders are always happy. The lessons are always well planned and full of fun.

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

making the riders happy

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

change nothing!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am a volunteer for Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program. It is an amazing non-profit program for children with special needs to be able to experience hippa-therapy in a safe, social and incredible fun environment. The staff members have been so great and very caring to the children and to us volunteer. Equi-Kids has also began a sister-program called Equi-Vets for our wounded warriors/veterans/retirees and their families. Equi-Kids also provides so many fun activities, such as barn sales and hound runs, all to support and enhance the mission and vision of the program. I feel very proud to be part of Equi-Kids.

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

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in so many ways through their amazing facilities, the pride and care they provide to their horses and staff members/volunteers, but most importantly, I've been able to share in the joy and satisfaction of parents and the children for experiencing the joy and therapy of horseback riding in a safe, fun environment. I look forward to seeing how Equi-VETS develops.

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

I have no changes to suggest.

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Rating: 4 stars  

I was able to visit Equi-Kids during my spring break. The university I attend had an Alternative Spring Break (ASB) trip located in the Virginia area and that was the non-profit location we decided to volunteer at. Our experience was beyond amazing. We were involved in many areas of volunteering. We mucked stalls and stables, painted and sealed sheds, performed side walker duties, and much more. Though the work was hard, it was very rewarding. Jennifer, the volunteer coordinator, Daryl, and Jamie were so expressive of their gratitude and let us know just how much of an impact we were making. They celebrated us and were very willing to accommodate our preferences. They were pleasant and friendly and opened up to us on a personal level that people don’t often bother to express. I love Equi-kids and though I don't live in Virginia, if and when I am in the area I will definitely drop in and muck a stall or two :)

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

that I personally experienced the sense of family and love that so many of the riders and the horses need. I heard testimonies of the impact the organization has had in the community from both riders and volunteers.

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

Increase the number of volunteers in order to meet the needs of all the riders and workers; hire more barn staff to meet the needs around the barn

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Rating: 5 stars  

I began volunteering at Equi-Kids last year, and I have nothing but good things to say about it! As a horse rider myself, it is so nice to be able to use my horse skills to help those with disabilities learn the stuff that I know. The facilities at Equi-Kids are absolutely beautiful! The horses are very well tempered with the riders and volunteers. The riders are so cooperative and it is so easy to see the happiness they feel when mounted on a horse. Sometimes, I side-walk for lessons, and other times I am a horse leader. Either way, I am having a wonderful time! The instructor for the lessons changes, but whoever it is always has the riders learning new things and interacting with their horse. I have personally been able to see improvements in the riders just after one week! Everybody at the barn is always happy and ready to help. It is such a great place to be!

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

The results I get from Equi-Kids are so wonderful. I get a wonderful feeling inside knowing that I am doing something I love (working with horses and kids) to help someone with a disability grow stronger mentally and physically. Seeing how happy the riders is the biggest result and reward for me.

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

Nothing, I LOVE EQUI KIDS :)

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered at EquiKids for 5 years. EquiKids is hands down the most rewarding thing I have ever done. The staff, the volunteers, instructors, riders and their families get to share in such an inspiring journey together, it is simply amazing . I never miss a chance to tell my friends, family and co-workers what a caring organization EquiKids is. I walk into the barn, hear the nickers from the horses ( the best horses in Virginia) and friendly chatter among the volunteers and staff, and I truly feel like I belong, that I'm welcome, and I am appreciated. Thank you EquiKids for creating a safe teaching environment for our community.

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

By attending lessons as a volunteer and teamleader I see what a difference an hour on a horse can make in a persons life. I have watched riders gain ability,stability and confidence in such a short time.

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

I see no change needed, just more public awareness of what a difference the EquiKids program makes in Virginia Beach and make sure it is taken care of so it can continue it' s mission.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I,ve been a volunteer at Equi Kids for apps.9 years. Through the years I,ve seen Equi Kids grow into what is now a top rated facility. it is heart warming to see children of all ages responding to the instructors, the volunteers and the horses as well as the volunteers interacting with the riders.

Equi Kids is a place where you can make a diffrence both in the lives of others and in your personal life as well.

I was volunteering in a school partnership program and some of the children from this particular school had never been in a barn or even seen a real live horse. They were scared silly yet by the end of their eight week session they didn't want to get off the horse! What a celebration we had....does a body good! There are too many stories to tell that would bring you to tears and I mean happy tears..... You have to see for yourself!

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

By being a volunteer, I share the experience of seeing our wonderful riders achieve their goals and share in their excitement. Their self esteem soars! It has made me more aware of the true meaning of living.......putting your heart and soul into giving.

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

Equi Kids is constantly changing . The staff is forever improving every phase of the programs. It has become a safer, friendlier and more accessible facility. I trust the decisions that are made on everyone's behalf and wouldn't,a change a thing.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I went to volunteer and received so much joy each and every time I volunteered. Equi-Kids' facility is such a wonderful home for the horses. The horses are cared for lovingly. The added joy is seeing the excitement on the faces of those that are part of the lessons. Such special people that have the opportunity to enjoy the comfort of a horse. It was such a transformation as they got on their horse. It often brought tears to my eyes as I was able to experience this every time I walked along with them and the horse. The Horses are incredible as they seem to sense their role in opening the world to these special people.

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

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in my observation of the joy the riders experience and the joy on the faces of the parents.

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

If I had to make changes to this organization I would market it's programs to the community to let them know what is happening and how volunteers and dollars are needed.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've been volunteering at Equi-Kids for over a year, and it is by far the cleanest, coolest, and most inspirational barn I have ever been to. I've grown so much as a person, working alongside the horses and the wonderful riders. All of the staff and volunteers are great people at heart, and it's a wonderful organization that deserves praise. I hope to continue helping out and doing what I can for this fantastic place.

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

In lessons, it's hard not to notice all that this barn does. The riders are so happy up on the horses, and it's freedom that they may not have been able to experience before. The parents of the riders, who can give their child such a wonderful experience. Even the instructors and volunteers are benefited by this barn. I know I've grown as a person, and everyone at the barn is usually genuinely happy to be there amongst such great people and horses.

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

I don't think there's a single change I would make.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Equi-kids has been an important part of my daughter Lillian's life for several years now. Everything is amazing there, but most importantly, the people. Those volunteers who have worked with Lillian know how much she loves her time on the horses.
The feeling of freedom is what I think is the best for Lillian. As parents of a special needs child who requires assistance with most everything, it's so wonderful to have an organization like Equi-kids that she can participate in.
Thank you all,
David, Rachel, and Lillian

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

...watching my daughter ride, smile, laugh, and scream as she is enjoying her ride time on the horses.

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

...

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?

Though word of mouth and parent support groups of special needs children.

What, if any, change in your life has this group encouraged?

Become more involved in your community and help others.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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