Giving Alternative Learners Uplifting Opportunities Inc

Rating: 4.94 stars   17 reviews

Issues: Animals, Disabilities, Health, Human Services, Sports

Location: 95 Franklin St. Apt. 4 New York NY 10013 USA

Mission: To improve the lives of children and adults facing developmental, emotional, social, and physical challenges through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars  

A few years ago, I was feeling like my existence did not make much of a difference. A friend said, "volunteer". So I found GallopNYC. Being around horses was already amazing, but I had no idea that being around the people who make up GallopNYC would change my outlook on life. Watching the joy and the gratitude of the riders and their parents is the best medicine for a lost soul. Being able to give of myself in this way has been a magnificent gift.

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

Have more classes, kids, teachers-- horses.

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?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Rating: 4 stars  

I started as a volunteer with Gallop in Forest HIlls over three years ago. I was then hired to work with them on developing an educational/internship program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum sponsored by a grant from Autism Speaks. I loved working with the staff at Gallop and the children and adults who benefited from their patience and experience. This is a great place to volunteer or work!

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

I would not make any changes.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

Watching what happens when a child, with or without disabilities, gets on a horse for a GallopNYC session is life-transforming, both for the child and for you. GallopNYC is doing phenomenal work with some of the most difficult to treat populations, among them those with autism, developmental disorders, brain injury, emotional trauma, etc. It's hard not to get choked up when you see a rider's uncertainty and apprehension turn into joy and pride at sitting tall on a powerful creature. GallopNYC's strength is its leadership, staff, instructors and volunteers -- they are kind, enthusiastic, careful, patient, dedicated, skillful, effective, and so happy to be helping. It is a profoundly moving and rewarding thing to witness.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Rating: 5 stars  

I was a volunteer with this wonderful organization for over 2 years before I had to stop. I moved and the trip was now 1-1/2 hours each way. But let me tell you, it's really worth it: GALLOPNyc helps alternative learners to ride. Seems deceptively simple but what it also does is teach the students to listen, follow direction, stretch, give direction, builds confidence like you wouldn't believe and friendships. As a weekly volunteer, I could follow the progress of the "Friday riders" which I helped. From not wanting to get on a horse, to trotting and waving to mom in a matter of weeks, from never saying a word to shouting commands, well, you get the idea. It's a truly remarkable organization. Everyone who helps out is there because they want to be. We all share stories, cheer on our students, share in the ups and downs, progress and fall-backs. I am a much better human being for having participated with GALLOPNyc.

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

So many ways - see my review above!

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

grow as best they could - so much need for programs like this.

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

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

Maybe volunteer get=togethers every now and then to discuss our experiences and make suggestions.

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

Yes - again, see my review.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

changed my life.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

To see a disabled child come into the stable for the first time, look around in wonder, and at the end of their ride, thank the horse with a carrot and a pat on the nose, is more than wonderful. There are children who don't want to get up on the horse, but after a few minutes of patting the horse and getting to know them, the joy on their faces as they have their first lessons is breath-taking. It's miraculous. It's the best volunteer job one could ever have. It's real, right in front of you. Change in one person's life equals two, three or four - the teacher and us volunteers too.

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

watching the children open up as they learn to ride. They follow direction, exercise their bodies and minds.

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

be in touch with all appropriate agencies with videos, stories and seminars to show the positive changes that can happen when a child is exposed to this kind of therapy. The love, positive reinforcement and forward-thinking that is exhibited in this one small arena touches so many lives, this is what society is lacking.

Rating: 5 stars  

Gallop is, quite simply, the most outstanding and innovative program to aid, educate and enhance the lives of mentally and physically challenged individuals that I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. Watching the physical and emotional progress of the riders is proof positive of the overwhelming value of therapeutic riding. Therapeutic riding is significant not only for its experiential value, but also for its transformational ability. I have personally observed the change in the physical strength and cognitive capabilities of the program's participants even after a single session with the program's talented and committed instructors.

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

Every rider I worked with met and/or exceeded the goals set forth in the individual progress plans created by the instructors. The riders were able to focus on the instructions given, were able to gain physical strength and most importantly were able to have fun.

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

I would not change the organization, but more funding would help the program continue to grow.

Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Our six year old daughter Emma has mild sensory integration dysfunction. She is a sensory seeker, and has had a difficult time sitting still for long periods of time, as well as following directions. She began riding horses with Gallop almost two years ago, and began showing improvement almost immediately. While on the horse, Emma is attentive and alert. She is able to follow multi-step instructions from her therapist during her 30-minute sessions. Hippotherapy is very beneficial for postural control and core stability, both of which Emma is deficient in. As Emma rides the horse, she constantly has to shift in the center of gravity in response to the horse’s movement, causing her to gain control over the muscles required to maintain equilibrium and balance. She now has a wonderfully increased sense of balance (sits up very erect) and a whole new sense of control. All of this she does with an infectious smile on her face and a look of great pride and accomplishment. She looks forward to her lessons every Monday, and comes to us eager and ready to work.

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

Our daughter has shown marked improvements while participating in this program.

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

I do not know of any changes that I would make at this point - it is working for us.

Rating: 5 stars  

I have two sons involved with the GallopNYC riding program. The growth I have seen in each of them is beyond what I could have imagined. One of my sons was terrified of animals for years, and with the help of incredible GallopNYC therapists was able to find connection with beautiful ponies and horses. Both boys have experienced a growth in confidence that is immeasurable and affects so many other areas of their lives. If one can ride a horse, then certainly other challenges can be tackled! It's had such a direct impact. The therapists and teachers are always encouraging and give such sensitive treatment to the children and families, and in turn teach them to care more for the generous ponies and horses. This program is so empowering to these young people and I can only imagine the impact those memories and accomplishments will have on their future endeavors. The organization is a genuine gift, particularly for children previously unaccustomed to feeling successful.

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

My boys have grown in so many ways.

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

I would love for a facility that could allow for more outdoor riding experiences. A larger riding area in the stable would be great too. These are all funding and space issues. The teachers and therapists need not change a thing in what they provide!

Rating: 5 stars  

Gallop is wonderfully effective therapeutic riding program operating out of Brooklyn's Kensington Stables. It's very diverse youth ridership has benefitted both phscially and emotionally from their Gallop experience. The organization has been able to attract an equally diverse cadre of committed volunteers, as well as a well-connected and highly engaged board of directors. Plus, Gallop's Executive Director is very strong. I'm fully confident that this young organization will soon be realizing its full potential.

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

Site visits, public programs, one-on-one meetings with staff.

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

Make sure that it had a dedicated year-round space.

Rating: 5 stars  

Gallop is an excellent program providing therapeutic horseback riding to persons with disabilities.

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

To see the growth and development of each rider both physical and emotional has been amazing. For those with emotional difficulties the connection with the horse provides an outlet they otherwise would not have.

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

Provide more funding to make riding available to all those who would benefit from our program.

Rating: 5 stars  

I came to GallopNYC as a volunteer in April 2009, and it is a truly amazing therapeutic horseback riding program. The joy, confidence, strength and ability that the riders who participate in our program develop is readily apparent. I have watched children with autism spectrum disorder arrive at a lesson, showing signs of being 'disconnected' from their environment and the people around them -- and then 20 minutes later, they are exhibiting improved posture on horseback, responding to instructions, and making eye contact with the volunteers. Each individual benefits in unique ways from therapeutic riding. And as a volunteer, working at GallopNYC is the highlight of my week as well!

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

helping every individual make progress at their own pace.

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

find more funders to support GallopNYC's programs.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

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