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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Equestrian, Health, Human Services, Patient & Family Support, Rehabilitative Care, Sports

Mission: Our mission to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by providing effective equine-facilitated therapy.Therapeutic riding has long been recognized as a method to improve the physical, emotional and mental development of the rider.  Increased joint mobility, muscle tone and coordination are among the many physical benefits.  The positive emotional and mental aspects of equine-facilitated therapy are improved self-esteem, confidence and socialization skills.  Started in July 1995 as a satellite of the Fort Myers Special Equestrians, the Naples Equestrian Challenge became an independent 501(c)3 in January 1998.Our goal is to strengthen and expand our services, while maintaining an effective and safe therapeutic riding program for the people in our community with disabilities.

Geographic areas served: Collier County

Programs: To provide therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults with special needs. This organization provides services to an estimated 250 individuals with these indivduals receiving various amounts of therapeutic riding. This ranges from 30-60 minutes of estimated weekly riding for each person.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with horses for years and was a member of the National Ski Patrol for over 30 years. When I came to Naples, I sought out NEC to learn what they were doing and to help. Their teachers are so well trained and SO patient; the horses are 'saints'. The students seem to get some joy, maybe a sense of accomplishment and comeraderie. The volunteers get to feel good about helping others less fortunate. All in all, it is a wonderful experience.

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Naples Equestrian Challenge on Volunteermatch.org shortly after moving to Florida a year ago. Not being familiar with their programs, I volunteered as a sidewalker and went through their training program. From my first visit, and each subsequent trip, I've never failed to come home without a smile on my face. The work done at NEC benefits young children to mature adults with differing degrees of handicaps by offering them a chance to experience the joy of horses while exercising their bodies and minds. Sidewalkers provide an invaluable safety ingredient to successful experiences. Autistic children find dormant voices and adult MS patients exercise failing muscles. The reward for the valued voluteers are hugs and smiles, and oh yeah,3 year old Nathan's giggle as he trots! Thanks, NEC, for the opportunity to help you change lives!

10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The benefits that NEC provides for its participants is beyond compare. To see the smiles on the faces of the riders... To know that the program is providing physical and mental stimulation and support for the participants... NEC is an absolutely wonderful program. The staff and volunteers are dedicated to providing assistance to those in need. If you have not visited NEC, please do so. Not only is it worth your time, but you may find yourself signing up as a volunteer.