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Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations

Mission: Pegasus was founded in 1982 and is a full time, year round program. Riding therapy is a unique treatment that uses the horse and its' three dimensional movement to stretch and strengthen muscles, move joints, improve balance and coordination and does so with less pain than traditional therapy. As a form of therapeutic recreation, the horse is effective in building self-esteem and self confidence. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of service and strive to improve the quality of life for those who participate.

Target demographics: adults with physical, emotional, and intellectual disabilities

Geographic areas served: Philadelphia, PA

Programs: Therapeutic horse back riding programs. We rely on volunteers to help run our programs and provide volunteer training and hours to work with our riders, horses and programs.

Community Stories

8 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Charlotte. I'm twenty-eight years old, I have cerebral palsy, and I have been riding with Pegasus for almost my entire life. When I started I had almost no muscle tone. As my father puts it, I was like a sack of flour. After several months, I finally sat up on my own. Following that achievement, I continued to grow stronger with the help of Pegasus's therapeutic program, a surgery I had when I was three, and other therapies. But everything started with Pegasus. At age eight I was able to start riding in horse shows, an activity I continue to pursue today. I can now ride fairly independently.

I owe so much to this nonprofit and its horses that I haven't the words to describe my gratitude. I don't know where I'd be without everyone involved with the program.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Pegasus is a remarkable place for children and adults of varied special needs. Beyond the physical accomplishments that equine therapy fosters, the connection the riders make with the horses is astonishing, much of which is due to the gentle horses and the staff. My son truly gets beyond excited when i tell him we are going to ride horses.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Pegasus Riding has been an incredible experience for my child. We've had difficulty finding activities for him that cater to his special needs. After two years, he's physically stronger, more confident, and looks forward to his lessons. It's clearly empowering to be up on a big horse, and Pegasus makes sure that riders are kept very safe -- usually with one experienced volunteer leading the horse around the ring, and two volunteers on each side of the horse to make sure that he does not fall off.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fantastic for My experience in seven years. Great people exellent preparation of instructors, very family context

Client Served

Rating: 5

my son and daugther ride here . I have nothing but wonderful things to say about them .The staff is so amazing with the kids and get on there level . My kids both love riding their horses and love their teachers . They get so excited every week about going . I can't thank the staff enough how good they are to my twins . We love everyone there . 5 star in my book.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm the proud parent of a rider at Pegasus. The facility, the office, the staff and all the wonderful volunteers have treated my son and I like family for the last 5 years. It's more than
a place to have a horse ride. It's a place where you can see the riders gain skill, strength and confidence as the weeks progress. All the people at Pegasus are special in their own right. And all seem very happy to be there.
Thank you.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering here to work with the horses, but it's the riders that have given me new found hope. I meet new riders all the time and I watch their faces as they grow stronger, happier and more confident. When I see these riders grow and heal, I can't help but be affected as well.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 9 year old daughter Grace is a miracle. She was born 16 weeks early and weighed only 1lb and 6oz. Grace is VERY stubborn and VERY strong and she fought for her first 5 months to survive. My girl made it and when she was 2, she was healthy and thriving, but was diagnosed as profoundly autistic and mentally retarded. About 2 years ago, my mother saw a piece on tv that profiled Pegasus Riding Academy and contacted them about Gracie. When we started to ride, we were very nervous about how Grace would do. Would she have a tantrum? Would she pitch herself off the horse? Would the staff let us stay? Well - she WAS a huge handful for the therapists and volunteers when we started, for sure, but they were so amazingly patient and kind with her. (and reassuring with me!)When Grace finally started to "get it"...it was exactly as the team had predicted. I can't say enough good things about the staff and volunteers at Pegasus. We travel 45+ minutes to go to lessons every Monday night...and it's worth every minute. Ami and the rest of the team have come to know Grace very well and there is no question that Gracie loves it. (she giggles the whole way home) She's learning how to command this situation, and push boundaries, too. What does it mean for a 9 year old girl that can't speak a word, who finds the world confusing and hard to navigate, to get on top of a horse every week and laugh and hold hands with caring people? It means everything. It means Gracie has something for herself. An endeavor that is hers alone. At the last horse show at Pegasus this Summer, Grace won the blue ribbon for her group of riders. I wish I had a way to share a picture here...Grace holding her blue ribbon while on top of her horse Casey. There wasn't a way to laugh or talk about it for the whole day - we were all too busy crying with joy. In short, these folks have been life-changers for Gracie and our family.