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16 Reviews
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August 3, 2014

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August 3, 2014

I have been volunteering with North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center for a couple of years now and it has been one of the most fulfilling decisions that I've made in a long time! The impact, not just on the riders and their families was no surprise to me.....but the impact it made on my life was something that I didn't expect. Working with EMS and emergency medicine for the past 11 years, I've seen many critical situations and have felt frustrated and helpless too many times to count in my career. Volunteering with NCTRC is such a positive, worthwhile experience that it serves as a form of therapy for me, as well as the beautiful children I work with!! In the medical field, we refer to a medication that has a desired effect on a disease that it wasn't initially designed for as an "off-label" medication. This is how I feel when volunteering with this wonderful organization....it not only benefits the children and adult riders tremendously, it is also my "off-label" therapy and wonder-drug after what may have been a sad and frustrating work week :)
Thank you NCTRC for all you do for the community!

Sherry H.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 17, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 17, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

My youngest son Graham (age 6) has severe emotional and behavioral problems that may be due to early onset bipolar disorder. Regardless of the “label” or diagnosis, Graham’s world is certainly a very troubled place as he struggles with symptoms of both mania and depression, with constant shifting between rage and despair. As a result, Graham is so rarely “at peace”; instead, he switches between manic, anxious, confused, irrational, remorseful, irritable, angry, physically aggressive and verbally abusive. Nonetheless, we know, underneath it all, there is the “real” Graham, an incredibly loving and sensitive little person that is perceptive, clever, energetic … and best of all … HAPPY.

For many years, we have been on a quest to understand the basis of Graham’s problems and how best to serve him therapeutically. We first learned about the program at NCTRC via his occupational therapy group. I think the biggest revelation for me was that NCTRC serves those with both psychological and physical challenges. Years ago I had heard about the benefits of assisted horseback riding for people with physical limitations so it had never occurred to me that Graham would be a candidate for this type of therapy. Once I understood the mission of NCTRC, I factored in Graham’s love of animals and thought it would be a great match for him.

Graham started riding at NCTRC in the fall of 2013. Although I so desperately wanted him to connect with this activity, you never know what will happen with a volatile child that has difficulty with transitions and can be reluctant to attempt new tasks. Well, now I know I shouldn’t have worried because Graham took on this challenge with ease and confidence. He is so serious and focused when he is in the saddle, I can hardly believe he is the same person. I am at a loss to define the exact magic formula for this transformation, but my guess is: (patient and gentle horses) + (patient and gentle instructors) + (fun and supportive volunteer side-walkers) + (friends to ride along with) + (trotting) + (barn cats and barn swallows) + (peaceful and beautiful countryside) + (cowboy boots) = calm and happy Graham. No other activity seems to have this type of soothing power, allowing him to be attentive and cooperative throughout the entire session. He has completed two “semesters” of therapy and very much looks forward to coming each week. And you better believe we will be back next year!! He has been asking to sign up already.

I believe Graham has developed a special sense of achievement working with horses, since not all kids (regardless of ability) have access to riding. He is very proud to tell people about his riding experience, listing the names of all the horses and barn cats, and how he earned ribbons at the annual horse show. Our family is *so* grateful that Graham has had the opportunity to be part of this unique program, one that seems to touch him very deeply and profoundly. The NCTRC has ABSOLUTELY fulfilled our family’s deepest desire for Graham to have something special in his world … the special thing he CAN do, the special thing he can rely on to bring him joy, even in the shadow of his deepest troubles.

We will be forever grateful for the volunteers, staff, and donors of NCTRC.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 13, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 13, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

This is a truly extraordinary organization with an amazing group of dedicated volunteers and a wonderful group of people who are served by NCTRC. I've volunteered for many years and have watched the organization grow from a small group of dedicated volunteers on several different farms into one large center with wonderful facilities and ponies/horses serving children and adults with disabilities. I cannot think of a better organization for which to volunteer.

More feedback...

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 11, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 11, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

The NCTRC impacts the lives of riders and their families, who may have not been able to find the desired effect with other therapies or settings. Amazing things are done year round and the instructors/volunteers are dedicated to making a difference! This organization demonstrates their commitment to the mission with every decision and every rider interaction.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Likely

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

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 10, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 10, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I have been a Registered Instructor at the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center for over 28 years. Many times people ask me why I still teach and what is so special about this program.....there are 100 reasons why I have stayed – the look on a rider’s face when they connect with their horse; the smile of a parent who watches their child and for a short while forgets that their child has a disability; the smiles and the hugs our riders give to the volunteers and horses; the compassionate and dedicated volunteers; the smile of a rider who may not talk, may not walk, who may feel different, but on the back of a horse can do anything; the celebration of the small successes with a rider who has worked hard; knowing I have the opportunity to work with other dedicated professionals who believe in our work; the “warm and fuzzy” feeling I always have when I finish working with our riders, no matter how bad my day may have been; all of the riders who have each touched my heart...

Ways to make it better...

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

I would love to have more people volunteer, donate or become involved with NCTRC so that we can serve more clients and expand this life changing work!

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 10, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 10, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I happened upon NCTRC by chance, and attended one of their fund raising events on a beautiful summer evening in August. As we arrived on the farm and joined the activity, a sense of peace and care washed over us. Their were families perusing around the farm, kids eating ice cream and playing with each other, and smiles on every single face. They had arranged a demonstration with riders from their programming, to show visitors what can be achieved on a horse. I was blown away! Why did it take me so long to find this place? I asked to speak to someone about volunteering and Ive never left.

I have been involved with horses my entire life through riding, training, farm management and veterinary assistance care. I was so pleased with the condition of the horses, the expertise of the instructors and the dedication of the volunteers. Mostly I was astonished to see the effect that the horses had on their riders. Riding has always been therapeutic for me, but I had no idea what level of relief it could provide to those who truly needed it. You can see the pride, accomplishment and joy in the eyes of every rider, every day.

I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to be part of the experience for the riders at NCTRC. I plan on spending the rest of my life involved with this organization in any way possible. It is truly the best investment of my love and time that I could ever make!

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

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

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

May 30, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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May 30, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

In 20+ years of involvement, I have continually seen NCTRC create increasingly impactful change in the lives of clients. It is truly incredible what can be accomplished by putting a child or adult with a disability on a horse. Equally importantly, NCTRC strives to follow best practices, ensure safety at all times, and is a careful steward of donated funds.

Ways to make it better...

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

ensure that they had sufficient income to increase programming and secure a permanent home.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

April 29, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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1 previous review
June 30, 2011

If you ever wanted to ride a horse, or you love horses, you understand why this organization is so valuable. For people who are physically challenged, NCTRC gives an opportunity to ride with safety, ... more

April 29, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

NCTRC has been around on various farms since our daughters were high schoolers looking to do some volunteer work. They are now in their 30's and our oldest has continued to volunteer and support NCTRC in many capacities, serving on the board, teaching riding, even as director. After 20+ years, NCTRC has the potential for a home farm and the growth that will serve the population it is meant for. The program staff has always been very safety minded, very professional, with many physical therapists doing the hippotherapy and teaching the classes. The farm they are trying to purchase is beautiful and has the ideal indoor arena so classes go on regardless of weather. They serve students of all ages and abilities, and now are trying to add classes for wounded warriors. The VA has a facility in nearby Durham and they should have this component available. This Center is recognized and valued by the community. They offer the opportunity to have therapy outdoors doing a 'normal' activity with animals. The horses are expensive to maintain, everything has gone up. It is too easy to say, this is too expensive and too hard to offer. It enriches lives of people who are at a disadvantage, it allows people who love animals, the access to share their lives. I hope you will support this organization and help them continue in their dedication and ambition to build a world class center for therapeutic riding.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 30, 2011

If you ever wanted to ride a horse, or you love horses, you understand why this organization is so valuable. For people who are physically challenged, NCTRC gives an opportunity to ride with safety, mobility and the joy of 'doing'. The act of riding is stretching and comforting to muscles that must be worked for health, but the joy of being one with a horse is a special gift. It is liberating, it is loving. The staff and volunteers at NCTRC are special people who meet a big overhead every month to keep horses fed and fit to ride. Tthey fall in love again during every class --ith students, the horses and the positive, magical atmosphere of Clearwind Farm. We donate time, financial support and I was on the board. I consider NCTRC most worthy of support, It is an outstanding organization, a very special place in North Carolina that we should all support.

The Great!

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

watching the success of improved function of students and in happy laughing of every class.

Ways to make it better...

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

Make NCTRC a high profile organization in the Triangle so that people know who and where they are and appreciate the great work they do.

June 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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June 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

In my experience as a volunteer with the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center (NCTRC) I’ve volunteered as a horse leader for classes, and been trained and certified as a Special Olympics Equestrian Coach.

NCTRC makes miracles happen. I have seen children and adults with traumatic
brain injury, blindness, mobility problems, and mental illness; improve balance, strength, relaxation, speech, social skills, and confidence. It's just amazing!

If you like a volunteer activity that makes your face hurt from smiling, this is the place for you.

The Great!

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

classes

Ways to make it better...

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

help them find more volunteers

June 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

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June 28, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I've volunteered at the NC Therapeutic Riding Center and cannot imagine a group more dedicated to the nurturing of children With disabilities. Outstanding!

The Great!

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

Seeing the wonderful results with the children in the program, increase self esteem, strength, etc.

Ways to make it better...

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

i cannot think of any.

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5 tips for getting reviews...

  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
  2. Putting a link on your Web site
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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

help a child with autism say her first word. Or enable the only hour all week that an adult has spent out of a wheelchair. Or help in the office so that those moments in the arena can continue - we need volunteers for all sorts of tasks! Volunteer