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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

GallopNYC (Giving Alternative Learners Uplifting Opportunities, Inc)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Services, Animals, Autism, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Disabilities, Equestrian, Health, Human Services, Sports

Mission: GallopNYC uses therapeutic horse back riding to help riders In NYC with disabilities walk, talk and learn, inspiring them to live their lives as fully, independently and productively as possible.

Results: We serve hundreds of riders each week, 80% pay no fees or deeply discounted fees. Using our detailed evaluation we can show measurable benefits across a wide range of physical, cognitive, developmental and social goals. And all of our riders learn riding skills!

Target demographics: People with Disabilities in NY City, especially those otherwise unable to access therapeutic horseback riding

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 450 riders weekly live their lives as as fully, productively and independently as possible.

Geographic areas served: New York City

Programs: Therapeutic horseback riding, hippotherapy, wounded veterans, at risk teens, kids in counseling, job skills programs and internships

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Sol R.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My second review. GallopNYC is an organization that is very close to my heart. My nineteen year-old daughter was born with Cerebral Palsy, and when she was diagnosed, our team of doctors hypothesized not only that her life would be challenging, but that her condition would worsen with age. Yet at three years old, despite medical predictions, she began learning how to walk with a walker, and her hopeful rehab specialist recommended we enroll her in therapeutic horseback riding. Scary as it may have been for a concerned parent, it proved to be the best, most fruitful, and must therapeutic experience we have ever encountered. This is how my daughter and I became involved with GallopNYC. Over the years, though my daughter has graduated from therapeutic horseback riding and gone onto achieve great success in the able-bodied competitive equestrian circuit, our involvement with GallopNYC has not only remained, but increased. I essentially came out of retirement to pursue an active membership within GallopNYC’s board, bringing my previous thirty years of Wall Street and managerial experience to the table as we sought to expand the organization. This materialized in my mission to secure two full-time facilities for GallopNYC to base the programs out of. As for my daughter, she regularly works with the stable management team to grow and improve our herd of horses, offering precise training and schooling to the horses so that they can perform their best for our riders. From watching my daughter, serving on the board, and interacting with volunteers, I have witnessed time and time again how GallopNYC has enabled and changed the lives of New Yorkers with disabilities. The rewards my daughter reaped from her participation in GallopNYC were miraculous, and it warms my heart each and every day to be involved in another family’s miracle. The encouraging and dedicated volunteers, the organized and driven staff members, the patience and reliability of our horses, the oversight and focus of the board, and the smiles and appreciation of the riders, each support one another and work in tandem to create the magical experience that is GallopNYC.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

GallopNYC began as a way for this horse lover to reconnect with horses in the city—but it became so much more. As a volunteer, I experienced therapeutic riding lessons as a beautiful team sport, with horses, instructor and volunteers working together to help riders achieve victories big and small. I was so inspired by this alchemy that I decided to work toward becoming an instructor myself and was certified this past spring. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this organization and feel like the sky’s the limit!

jmosoff

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

GallopNYC has changed my life in the best possible way. I first discovered the organization after taking a summer off from my corporate job to volunteer, and by the time the summer was over I knew I was never going back. I'm now proud to be a PATH International-certified instructor at GallopNYC, able to spread my knowledge and love for horses and therapeutic riding to anyone and everyone through teaching. Thank you, GallopNYC, for all that you've given me and the rest of the community!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

GallopNYC helps riders make measurable gains in important life skills, like speech, attention span, and self confidence.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Amazing people who are passionate about the work they do as well as wanting to share the knowledge with others. They are always willing to engage with their community and encourage others to participate in learning more about what equine facilitated learning and therapy can do for others. An amazing team with wonderful horses!

2 Kevin P.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been volunteering with this organization for 5 years and I honestly can’t speak highly enough about this organization and what they do for New Yorkers with disabilities!! If you love horses and love volunteering this is an awesome place to check out

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

GallopNYC is one of my favorite parts of living in NYC. The physical strength and mental calm I receive from riding the horses is life changing. And the staff and volunteers dedication makes each rider feel at home and fully supported to reach for our goals and dreams.

3 John S.9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have been volunteering for several years and working on board projects and have come to know all very well. Truly an extraordinarily caring, passionate and committed team who care deeply about the incredible works they do. It is more rewarding and fulfilling then words can ever describe to witness the development of riders as well as joy on parents’ faces to watch their children grow.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Gallop NYC since 2015 - when I was connected with them through an organization called Youth INC - that pairs investment analysts and other busy young professionals to non-profits all around the city. Today, I lead the Rising Professionals Group (the junior board) mostly to help with fundraising, planning for the barn dance (the main fundraising event of the year) and helping raise money for sporting events (half marathon - 2x, marathon - 1x). GallopNYC is an exceptionally run organization - the individuals involved on a regular basis are smart, ambitious and truly caring of the cause. I am proud to be involved.

3 Maggie M.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have worked for GallopNYC for three years, first in programs and now in fundraising and development. Working at GallopNYC is an honor - we see measurable progress in our students and this progress transfers over to their daily lives. Many of our riders are often shut out of traditional recreational or sports based spaces - but at GallopNYC, we have given them a place to thrive. With our growing ridership, comes great responsibility and the power to change lives. We now ride at four different sites in New York City, operate two full board barns, and have a large active volunteer base. I encourage anyone reading to take a trip out to see our programs in action and hope to add you to our growing roster of enthusiastic supporters.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The most wonderful organization to work with and be apart of.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer, I’ve had the opportunity to see the wonderful work Gallup does day in and day in our for New Yorkers in need.

2 Suzy M.1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Giving Alternative Learners Uplifting Opportunities (GallopNYC) from just about the very beginning. I have watched it grow tremendously in many ways. As the program has expanded over the last 11 years, the expansion has been conducted with great care to assure the highest quality of service and the safest and most enjoyable experience for its clients. In addition, management and board governance has developed to top-notch levels, resulting in GallopNYC's winning Governance Matters' Brooke Mahoney Award for Corporate Governance in 2016. Here are some examples of the outstanding impact that GallopNYC has:
- A child who came to GallopNYC as “non-verbal” uttered his very first words – giving commands to his horse.
- A pre-teen rider gained sufficient core strength through riding so that he could finally shower and bathe independently without the help of his parents.
- A young adult in the Leadership and Job Training Program developed the courage to apply for his first job. He is still working for REI over a year later.
- A child who rarely spoke up in the classroom now does so regularly due to the confidence she has developed through riding and commanding her horse.
- One of the participants in the veterans leadership program experienced such personal growth that he now wants to train as an instructor to help other veterans.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Giving Alternative Learners Uplifting Opportunities. Joy is the word to be apart of the GallopNYC Community. Board Members, Staff, Volunteers, Clientele, Donors and our beloved horses. As a parent, watching my daughter thrive, grow and achieve independence is an experience I'm privileged to share over and over with 1000's of other families in New York City. Smiles daily.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son has been doing therapeutic riding with Gallop for about 6 months now. The staff and volunteers are caring and patient, both with the riders and the horses. There is a meaningful shift that is visible among riders when taking to the saddle. This work is worthwhile and helps gives the people it serves a sense of purpose and pride, while giving the riders mobility, confidence, physical and emotional improvements, and something to look forward to.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My experience with GallopNYC has amazing. I have seen riders far exceed anyones hopes. Kids that were identified by teachers as nonverbal have spoken on many occasions. Riders that never made eye contact start to look into the horse's eyes and then into the instructors eyes. Riders get stronger, more confident, more related. Riding is an activity they CAN do.
Gallop NYC has helped so many people with all kinds of abilities in a kind, caring and professional environment.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son is on the autism spectrum and has been working with Gallop for 6 years now. He has gained tremendous confidence through riding. With his everyday challenges, especially in sports it is wonderful that he feels he can succeed in horseback riding. The trainers and volunteers are always supportive and enthusiastic.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This organization is one of the best for meeting the challenges of our special needs population. The sessions are conducted as a family event. The recognition given at the year end Ride with Pride event - always brings tears to the eyes of our families. I am proud to be part of this organization for over 10 years and watching it grow

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Gallop is an incredible organization that helps so many children and their families.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Gallop is the best program that helped my daughter to learn new skills, she loves touching the horse, she gets happy, each time she rides the horse.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been deeply impressed by the benefit Therapeutic Riding has for people with disabilities! I have MC'd the annual Horse Show in the past and the happy families make it a great day

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

GallopNYC has done so much for my developmentally disabled child. My daughter Jeanne is intellectually disabled and suffers from anxiety. She loves riding and the caring staff has made this the one activity that Jeanne wouldn't miss! Gallop has helped Jeanne in so many ways. I cannot say enough about Gallop and how it has enriched Jeanne's life. As a mother, it is so wonderful to see Jeanne so happy because of this program and the many people who show how much they truly care. Her smile says it all!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have two boys, ages 14 and 10, that have been riding with GallopNYC since the age of 3! They are both non-verbal and need full assistance with walking. When they first started they both needed a lot of prompting and support by the side riders. Now they need very little support and they absolutely love it! This program is such a wonderful opportunity for our children, being that there are not many activities available for them, and seeing the improvements in their abilities is a feeling like no other! The staff is amazing, patient, kind and understanding! We are so happy to see how much the program has expanded and how many more children and adults are able to get the benefits from being around these wonderful animals!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

GallopNYC accepted me into their family right after I graduated college in 2014. It has been a joy to share my love of horses with students who love to learn. The confidence that students gain helps them shine in the riding arena, but also in school, at work, and at home.

The staff of GallopNYC has also encouraged me to grow personally and professionally. I have gained the courage to earn new certifications, present at national conferences and plan future research through my Master's degree. In such a short time, GallopNYC has become such a positive part of my life, and I know it is the same for many riders and volunteers.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Being a part of the GallopNYC show team has been an absolute joy. The community of the Gallop staff, volunteers, horses, and other riders is invaluable. I am so grateful for the strength I've gained, partnering with my horse to tackle new physical challenges in such a supportive environment. I am especially grateful for being part of the show team while recovering from a brain injury. Seeing tangible progress has helped both my self-confidence and sense of accomplishment. Thank you GallopNYC for this wonderful experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing people with amazing animals would probably be the easiest way to sum up this non-profit but that wouldn't do it justice. GallopNYC has helped me grow so much as a person and has helped me figure out my path in life. I've loved horses for years but finding out that they're used as a form of therapy was mind-boggling. Working with the riders, I've seen amazing success in many different forms. From the child that was terrified to even step near an animal bigger than they were, becoming a confident equestrian, to others who have trouble walking when on the ground but manage to move their horse gracefully through multiple obstacles.The bonds these riders establish with not only their horse but with the friends they make during lessons is incredible.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at GallopNYC. It's very rewarding to see the rider's progress as the develop strength and independence each week. I've witnessed how the therapeutic riding lessons help riders gain confidence, develop social skills and verbal communication, and become more balanced in the saddle as they get stronger. It's truly an amazing experience and I love going each week.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

GallopNYC has an incredible vision and excellent execution. The kindness of its staff results in thousands of smiles from children in NYC year after year. Thank you!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

GallopNYC is a wonderful non-profit and I am a proud donor. The work they do with children and with veterans is nothing short of amazing - in particular the impact the program has on children with autism. The children seem so connected with the horses - they have a chance to find themselves, to find a different part of themselves, and feel fully comfortable, in control, and it brings out their best. The staff and instructors are so warm and empathetic.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about GallopNYC from a friend of mine whose son rides in the program. Her son was born with significant physical disabilities and for years had very little core or neck strength. But then he started riding with GallopNYC. There's been a huge difference, far more than the traditional physical therapies he was involved in. He could sit up straighter in his wheelchair. And he had far more neck strength which means he can hold his head high and look at the world he loves so much. But even more important, it brings him great joy. He has the biggest smile on his face when he is riding. He is free and moving! Riding on a powerful horse. It is a beautiful thing to see. He is getting important physical therapy but he is also participating in something that brings him joy.

1 PennieLane

Donor

Rating: 5

Love GallopNYC! What a great organization and I am glad I had the opportunity to volunteer with the children and horses at their Forest Hills, NY location. I was so impressed with their program that I wanted to help in other ways besides a monetary donation. They were extremely grateful for my efforts put forth to obtain 2 round trip tickets with an international airline that was auctioned off at their annual fundraising dinner that took place that year. I know that many of the non-profit's goals are to get as many cash donations whenever possible in a given year but GallopNYC puts a large amount of effort into their fundraising planning and events and working with individuals who can help them in all forms of donations...being open to any suggestions and grateful for all the support given to GallopNYC by each and every individual, from the organization's past to present day.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

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!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1 mlmarwell

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1 Terry L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

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

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A teacher accompanying her class of 4,5 and 6 year old autistic children said to me the other day as we were steadying a child on a horse, "This amazes me. The level of eye contact. The verbalization. I am already seeing changes in these children after two sessions." Therapeutic riding certainly is no miracle cure, but in my experience as a volunteer, and as a horseperson, I see what the contact with these animals can help accomplish.

1 Suzy M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Just to see a smile on the face of our riders is so rewarding. Most of these riders face nearly insurmountable obstacles throughout their daily lives, but when they come to ride at Gallop, they all find something that they can do. They all connect with the horse in one way or another, giving them a valuable boost in self esteem at the very least. Those who have developmental challenges make progress in learning new skills, and those with physical challenges develop strength by using muscles they don't normally get to use. Students with emotional challenges get instant feedback from the horse which puts the student in contact with their own feelings.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has rejected participation in every physical activity I have presented to him: soccer, baseball, tennis, gymnastics, karate, rock-climbing, you name it. His impairments in visual tracking, motor planning, muscle tone and processing speed hinder his skill development and create a sense of failure and frustration, rather than enjoyment. Horseback riding has been a miracle for him. It is the only activity he has been successful at and actually looks forward to! Horses are patient and require clear communication which allows my son the time to coordinate his movements in a no-risk situation. He has always loved animals and has developed true affection for the horses he has ridden. His physical strength has improved and his confidence level has soared. Gallop has truly been a gift to my son, as it has to all the people it serves. The benefits it brings are priceless.

Joni C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I work for GALLOP NY teaching therapeutic riding to children with autism and other disabilities. It is truly magic to see what a horse can do to help challenged children relax, relate, recreate, and learn. I wonder if the horses understand what marvelous creatures they are.

alicia-gallopnyc

Board Member

Rating: 5

Well I am biased, because I run GallopNYC! But I want to tell you that we offer supporters the opportunity to have a seminal role in fostering the growth of a sustainable organization that brings a uniquely effective therapy to people in NY City. By helping GallopNYC, you can truly say you made a difference in New York City. If you came with me to take a look at GallopNYC you might be surprised at the breadth of our program and its efficacy—on any given day you might see a boy with autism finding a his voice to say “trot on” — or a child from an abusive family falling in love with a horse, and sharing her fears — or a high school drop-out gaining the courage to try for his GED, and maybe college — or a boy with Down syndrome finding strength and balance— or an adult with cognitive disabilities finding a purpose in helping others --- or a war veteran calming her anxiety. In every case, as parents, teachers and counselors tell us, GallopNYC changes the lives of people with disabilities and special needs.