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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Project R I D E Incorporated

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Equestrian, Human Services, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: Project R.I.D.E. Inc. provides recreational therapeutic horseback riding instruction to people with special needs.

Target demographics: People with physical or developmental special needs ages 3 and up

Direct beneficiaries per year: 595 individuals, with another 150 on our waiting list

Geographic areas served: Greater Sacramento Area

Programs: Recreational therapeutic horseback riding lessons, unmounted equine-assisted activities, and equine-assisted learning

Community Stories

68 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Bill T.5

Donor

Rating: 5

The work actually is more a passion of helping autistic children is so touching! They use horse riding as the tool to help the autistic children to live much better lives.
I have the privilege as a wine broker to provide wine for their fundraising events.
Please visit their facilities and watch the impact on autistic children, it will bring tears to your eyes!

3 Jeralynn S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My whole family loves project RIDE! From my grandmother, who sidewalked chldren on ponies, to my parents who were executive board members, myself who was a side walker horse leader, hauler, before becoming an instructor and my brothers and daughter who continue to donate desserts and attend fundraising events. That’s 4 generations! Project RIDE provides therapeutic riding lessons to children and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities. We have personally witnessed a child who had never talked, say her first words on horseback. A young woman with MS who rode her way to having the strength to leave her wheelchair and attend college. We find the atmosphere at Project RIDE to be therapeutic to everyone, donors, riders, volunteers and visitors alike leave project RIDE feeling good about themselves. The standards are high, resources are used wisely and they continue to grow and improve in an organic way. If you have extra dollars or time I cannot think of a better way to spend them than on this very worthwhile and productive not for profit. Oh, and did I mention that the FUNdraisers are fantastic, delicious and of course fun? There’s something for everyone, as there are needs for help in many and varied ways. If you live in or near Elk Grove, stop by the Arena. You will be glad you did!

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This has historically been our family’s favorite nonprofit. All of our family has volunteered and it has been so rewarding to see someone using a wheelchair be able to get out of it and walk. We have heard young people say their first words on horseback. We love how the working unpaid board of directors give so heartily of their time. Although we are not currently volunteering, we attend some of the fundraisers and are amazed at the continuing vitality of this helpful organization. Keep up the good work one and all!

Larry L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to this organization 17 years ago while attending a crab feed with a friend. The size of the crab feed was impressive in itself when I overhead that 1200+ people were right beside me.

I came back to the arena a couple days later to inquire about the organization. After a brief tour and explanation, I fell in love! I've now volunteered and helped with a few of their yearly events. What project ride, it's volunteers, horses and do to enlighten these kids lives is priceless. I have seen the results first hand. The bond between horse and rider is astonishing!

Cindee S.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Project Ride has been an outstanding business in this community that assists individuals with special needs reach their full potential! They continue to go above and beyond in all that they do.

Bill T.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The first time you see one of these precious children sit on a horse and instantly have a connection and sit up & smile you will start crying.

I'm a wine broker & I have had the privilege of asking wineries to donate wine for Project RIDE's fundraising events. Wineries ae so generous & it helps to raise funds for their programs.

Eric Mc D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at Project Ride about 8 years ago shortly after retiring. At first it was just a couple of hours a week, within a few months I was hooked. Being able to help this most deserving part of our community in some small way is easily the most satisfying thing that I have ever done.

Suzi L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project R.I.D.E. is a place where magic happens daily. I have been here since 2008 and plan to be here as long as i can. I started out helping in lessons in the arena and then went into helping in the office. I always looked forward to watching the students ride because it took away some of the negativity that I often saw in the news. Watching the kids ride brings happiness that is hard to explain. This program offers so much, not only to the students who ride, but to the families, volunteers, and staff who are part of this non-profit. I am so lucky to be part of this Project RIDE family and hope to be here for many more years to come.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering in late 2008. From the first time I came to the orientation/training, I knew I had found a very special place. Marisa, who was giving the orientation, had me hooked before I knew it. She and all the staff I encountered inspired me and gave me such a more positive outlook on life. The kids are amazing. The volunteers all work together and go well above and beyond. I am truly amazed how wonderful this organization is and how well everyone works together for the kids and adults who ride. I am now a staff member, and enjoy each day being able to see our riders laugh, play, and learn in an environment that is safe, and full of fun. The horses are the magic, and everyone involved makes a difference and plays an important part to this valuable program. Even the barn cats play a part in welcoming everyone who comes into the barn. A really wonderful place to be.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been riding at Project RIDE for 6 years now. The people are amazing and so helpful. Their program has helped my daughter gain so much core strength. She loves riding every week and enjoys spending time with all the wonderful volunteers.

Previous Stories
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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter loves going to Project R.I.D.E! The staff is wonderful and the program is fantastic!

Kelly B.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Project R.I.D.E is an amazing organization full of caring staff who provide much needed services to unlock the potential of individuals their programs serve.

cherylraff

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They have the best staff - professional, patient, kind, helpful, good hearted, friendly and are just wonderful people. It a place you can go and volunteer and don’t want to leave. You are excepted and never judged.

Michelle Zidzik M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What an awesome place and amazing staff...my daughter has been riding since she was 3 years old (now she's 10 years old) and through riding she is able to walk! Miracles taking place everyday!

Krista19

Client Served

Rating: 5

Best people & horses on the planet are under this barns roof! Our daughter gets the best therapy on horseback, life skills & real relationships that give her a place to shine! She has built up strength, coordination and courage as she has worked on her core & gross motor skills. We love this magical & therapeutic space for our family.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our 4 year old Daughter thrives at Project RIDE! Our family, friends, therapists and guests LOVE seeing how Project RIDE strives and thrives on helping meet the therapeutic FUN that our kids need. The RIDE staff and amazing families make this a home away from home. We have been riding weekly for 6 months and have seen goals of increased trunk control, better stability in our girl. The horses and environment make it all such a great place where we see our girl thrive!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Project Ride is an amazing therapeutic horse-riding facility. The stables, arena and facility are always clean, the staff is friendly and the instructors are kind and knowledgeable. My son started riding there back in 1991, and he only stopped after his disease progressed to a point making horseback-riding contraindicated. My daughter and our family have volunteered off and on for many years, and our daughter is now an instructor. We believe in the mission statement of Project Ride, and we have seen first-hand the awesome benefits this facility provides to *handicapable* children and adults.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Project R.I.D.E. is awesome! All the fundraising event put on are incredibly fun and successful. All the riders helped are in love with the program, they always have giant smiles on their faces! The Barn is super welcoming, and all the volunteers and staff are beyond friendly and willing to help with anything!

Matthew S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project R.I.D.E. Is truly an amazing place. It’s not just the riders finding peace and healing but the volunteers and staff as well!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I used to help Protect Ride as a walker and a groomer and a side walker in the mid 80's and 90's. I would go over and help between my School Bus runs. I saw a student go from a wheelchair to a cane. Awesome. I also saw a student with Down Syndrome. Go from just sitting in class. In preschoo then about 3 years later at Project Ride. Doing most of the activities on the back of a horse, and meeting Chris eyes. Awesome Peogram.

1 Alexis11

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love project r.i.d.e! My daughter has been participating in this program for 2 1/2 years! It has helped her balance and her confidence! The games they play are fun, educational and therapeutic! We have been very happy with everyone we encounter at the barn!

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

Thanks for the love Alexis and for sharing your beautiful amazing daughter with us!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This program is amazing! My daughter is having so much fun with the different educational games they play she has NO idea she's getting in some great physical therapy! We drive an hour, one way, once a week because we love it so much! Thank you to all of the caring staff and volunteers for your dedication to help children with all kinds of disabilities.

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

Thanks for making the drive and for understanding the magic behind the disguised learning that looks like fun!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best group of people ever! Such a fantastic organization that helps so many.

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

Aww... we love you too dphills!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great place run by a great staff! I volunteered here over the summer got to witness the magic first hand!

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

It's the volunteers that make the magic happen. Thanks for being a part of it!

Donor

Rating: 5

Can not say enough good things about what Project Ride does.
I've never met such an amazing group of people who's hearts are so large they just fill the room!
I've knows kids who have gone threw their horseback therapy program. They were said to never be able to walk. Because of this amazing program and the therapy and love they provide they walk and thrive!
The smiles on the children's faces are more than words can express.
We will contribute to support Project Ride in every way we can.

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

Couldn't do it without supporters like you DoubleRRanch!

Wendy166

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project RIDE uses a team of people and horses to put smiles on the faces of the wonderful kids they serve.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My brother rode at Project RIDE and I've been a volunteer for many years. I love every minute I spend at the RIDE barn.

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

We love having you with us rprettym! Hope you'll be with us for many more years...

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been involved at this Center for 5 years and have been continually impressed by the caliber of people who walk through the Barn doors. Whether it is a volunteer, special needs rider or community member that simply stops by, one is always touched by the magic of the positive work and development that happens in this program.

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

The magic wouldn't be possible without our hard-working staff who toil behind the scenes to make all the details work. Thanks so much loricandelaria!

1 Jennifer609

Client Served

Rating: 5

My sister attends Jessie Baker School for kids with special needs. Project RIDE helps my sister and other students of Jessie Baker ride horses to work on their motor skills and educate them in riding in a safe and enjoyable manner. The instructors and volunteers are awesome!!

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

We love working with our friends at Jessie Baker - an amazing school and we are proud to be an integral part of their education.

1 Betsy37

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a supporter of Project RIDE I have had the opportunity to watch the professional staff and volunteers use horses to provide therapy in a compassionate, fun atmosphere to people, young and old, with special needs. Those of us who come to watch never leave without fully appreciating the value of their service for people who have serious challenges.

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

Thanks so much for the kind words and for your ongoing support Betsy37.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son loves this program. He's engaged. He's calm. He listens and is able to give walking commands. Project RIDE is a wonderful therapy program for individuals with disabilities.

Comments ( 1 )

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volunteer 11/01/2016

It's a joy for us to see the impact that the horses have on the clients we work with on a daily basis. Thanks for trusting us with your son!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Staff that cares about the students they work with. They put all they have into improving the program and building the kids' confidence.

Michelle400

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Postive vibes hit you as soon as you walk in the door. The emotional support they provide to their clients is amazing. Whether you have children riding here or not it's therapeutic for all!!

1 Donald N.

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great chance to help in the raising and education of children with disabilities and helping adults with disabilities. Meet great people all sharing the same goals. A chance to be around horses and their effect upon those who ride in the program, as well as how the horses themselves will adjust their temperament with a child acting out.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been riding for 5 years. We love the people and the community atmosphere.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing gift to people with disabilities. i get the awesome pleadure to watch people ride horses and the wonderful expressions the you can see in their eyes is pure joy and trust. And the people that work there are amazing. So much love and life shared. You are family. One big huge family

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Helped my daughter overcome her anxiety. Staff and volunteers are amazing!

Previous Stories
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Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been riding here for a year. It has given her such confidence. The volunteers and staff are amazing. It is a work of passion for them all.

1 Writer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They saved my life! I struggle with PTSD and the staff, the kids, the horses and other volunteers made me feel worth something!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Awesome program, volunteers, staff, and riders. Best in Elk Grove.

1 Jessie Baker E.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a phenomenal program that supports children with the greatest needs at the highest risk. Without this program our community and these children would be at a huge disadvantage. This program and the people who run it are some of the best people in our area with the largest of hearts. To have them in our community is not luck, it's a privilege.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great place to volunteer!! Fun friendly dedicated staff! You rock PR!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great place, known as Disney Land by many, because it truly is the happiest place on earth. How could you refuse to vollunteer at such a magical place, even the smelliest of stalls are are joy to clean!! If I have free time, I spend it here!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, Ethan Justus, has been a rider for about 17 years. He started at age 3, and has never been afraid of the horses or being up high. He has always enjoyed riding and the lessons provided. Tina and her staff are very professional,compassionate, and caring.

1 Lavada D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

every time i attend a function that involves this program, i hear fantastic kudos about the work they do. i have personally witnessed their efforts and the staff is wonderful.

Previous Stories
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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

absolutely amazing to witness the transformation that occurs especially when small children who have developmental issues get on top of huge horses. somehow, they have a sense of empowerment that exceeds all expectations.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My nephew has been riding here and it has helped him so much! He even has his picture hanging in the arena! An absolutely fantastic program!

1 Tony44

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was diagnosed with mild spastic quad cerebral palsy a year ago. She loves each week she gets to go and ride a horse at project ride. The movement of the horses helps stretch her own muscles. They also make the kids minds work with fun activities. Myself and my wife will always be thankful for PRoject Ride. All the volunteers are awesome.

1 Diane128

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Granddaughter Elizabeth picked Project Ride for her volunteer credit in Highschool so I volunteered with her :) We decided we wanted to be of service by mucking out the stalls & doing general cleanup work as well as helping with the cleanup after the annual crab feed. We Love the barn and the horses providing a wonderful nurturing atmosphere for healing of the mind, body, heart and soul! We just LOVE everyone there!-Diane G.

1 Louise20

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I did my training for my P.A.T.H. Certification at Project Ride. I can't say enough about the staff, volunteers and horses. They are all top rate, helping people by introducing them to the healing that only horses can bring. I would encourage everyone to take time to go and observe what they do. I have been giving lessons and training horses for years and what I saw there took my breath away and brought me to tears!

1 Michaele B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter and I have volunteered at Project R.I.D.E for several years now. We love working with the horses, the riders, and the other volunteers! We get a great deal of happiness whenever we go there.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project Ride Leads from the Heart! The work they do with kids and adults with special needs is amazing--but moreover, they are just GREAT People. They know how to get things done, they are passionate about their mission, driven to do it better, and provide a service to the clients, and to the community. Volunteering at Project Ride makes me think of that movie quote from Jack Nicholson to Helen Hunt. "You make me want to be a better man."

I get to drop in and emcee their events a few times a year--and every time I do, I feel like they are doing me a service by allowing me to be there for a few hours!

Gregg Fishman

1 Sandy79

Donor

Rating: 5

Love observing the children as they become more confident post therapeutic riding instruction! also the local Project Ride in Elk Grove serves 3 year old through 98 year old! amazing program for children and adults with special needs.

1 Miriam I.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer I have seen the enthusiasm of the riders the minute they walk into the barn. The staff is wonderful and caring. I am so happy to be part of this wonderful orginazation .

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about Project Ride and the years of fun and therapy they provided for my now 20 year old son Brandon who is on the autism spectrum. An incident always comes to mind when I think about Project Ride and how it helped my son connect with animals. When Brandon was about 8, I took him to a local fun park where they were offering parent-guided horse rides for children (meaning the parent walked with the horses reins to guide them around the track). We were instructed to keep the horses at a good distance between each other. Unfortunately, the horse behind me was allowed to come up way to close to my horse (I had no idea) and he decided to promptly bite my horse in the rear! My horse bucked and up went little Brandon in the air like a balloon! I don't know how but he landed safely near a bush (it was helpful that he had wanted to keep his knee pads from practice earlier that day). Needless to say everyone was panicked but he just wiped himself off, laughed and said "oh no Rucky throw me off!" Rucky was a nickname for a horse he rode at Project Ride. He wanted to get right back on which was wonderful because I didn't want him to be afraid to ride. All the efforts that Project Ride had put in to help Brandon understand horses really paid off that day. Love, love the organization!

Peggy40

Client Served

Rating: 5

She was 4 1/2 and ride for a number of years. She had so much fun riding she didn't realize she was doing therapy.
My daughter is now 13 and recalls her love of riding with horses with Project RIDE.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My daughter volunteers at Project R.I.D.E. Her goal was to give back in a way that benefited horses and children. She didn’t anticipate feeling like she receives far more benefit than she gives. The staff and students appreciate their volunteers and treat them like family. Volunteers are nurtured and given opportunities for growth. Seeing the life-changing effect its programs have on the families it serves is moving. Our family volunteers quite a bit, and we believe Project R.I.D.E. is one of the best organizations out there.

Donor

Rating: 5

We leased our horse briefly to Project R.I.D.E. so she could have a job while my daughter trained on another horse. While our horse was there, she was well taken care of and we got wonderful feed back from the volunteers and family who use their services alike. Great organization!

Chris157

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I started volunteering I was looking for something to add to my resume showing I was putting my degree to use. Before I left the very first day I knew I found more then just a resume filler, I had found a place where all my worries and concerns were put into perspective and life made sense. The staff all are amazing people who do so much for their students and volunteers without even knowing they're doing anything, simply by creating a fun environment full of praise. Every day at Project R.I.D.E. is amazing. The amount of praise they deserve is unlimited. I'm so glad I get to be a part of the Project R.I.D.E. Family.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Project R.I.D.E. for over 10 years. This organization offers a very specialized program that becomes an outlet, a place of growth and learning and a source of freedom and release for our wonderful riders. For many of our riders, this is the only place or activity specifically designed just for them,;where they can feel special and free of judgement. There are very few organizations like Project R.I.D.E. and I am very proud to be a part of such a wonderful program and hope to continue to be part of it's family of volunteers for many years to come.

SaraSchlussler

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project R.I.D.E. makes me smile every day. For the past year, I have volunteered roughly 200 hours with this wonderful organization.
What started out as a class requirement has become something that has changed not only my perspective on individuals with varied abilities, but also my attitude towards life. Prior to working with Project R.I.D.E., I sweated the small stuff. Every little thing had to be perfect or my day was ruined. Seeing happy, laughing children who overcome daily struggles has really changed how I feel about my own problems. There are posters encouraging happiness and laughter throughout the arena that remind me to stop and smell the roses. Project R.I.D.E. is my "happy place," where my problems disappear when I volunteer.
In addition to promoting happiness, Project R.I.D.E. really takes time to emphasize the importance of its volunteers. This is part of the reason I keep coming back. The executive director, Tina, always stresses that lessons could not happen without volunteers to lead, sidewalk, and keep the arena tidy. Project R.I.D.E. makes its volunteers feel important and celebrates them at every opportunity. No matter how long I stay, I always get a big "Thank you!" at the end of each visit.
Project R.I.D.E.'s Volunteer Coordinator and Community Outreach Manager, Marisa, takes the time to get to know each volunteer and recognize their special talents. When I first mentioned to Marisa that I wanted to be an event planner, she quickly found me some great work experience in helping out with several of Project R.I.D.E.'s big special events.
Even though I have fulfilled my class requirement at Project R.I.D.E., I still plan to volunteer whenever the opportunity arises.

Client Served

Rating: 4

What weighs 1287 pounds and has a smile as wide as the barn door she rides thru? Tator the horse with my daughter at the reins. Enpowerment, pride and huge sense of accomplishment are evident at every session. I am guessing the horse has a good time too.

1 Leon V.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My daughter starting riding at Project RIDE almost two years ago. She is nonverbal but when she interacts with the horses her face tells the story. Everyone knows us there. They have become part of our exrended family. Recently I became a board member so I can give back to the organization that has given so much to my daughter.

1 Shelley8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was in a lonely, dark place in my life- having some fairly serious health issues and going through a lot of stress at work. I finally took a leave of absence, which helped some, but left me lonelier than ever and w/o much reason to get out of bed every day.
My therapist asked me what I liked to do that I'd stopped doing, maybe due to work, or lack of time. I remembered I'd loved working with horses in my teens, but hadn't had any real opportunity in the intervening 15 years or so.
I'm also quite shy and nervous around large groups of people. My therapist suggested finding a program like this one working with horses, because I already knew I could, and with kids, because they don't make me feel so anxious. It would get me out of the house and help others while helping me, as well.
I couldn't have guessed how much I would LOVE my time at Project RIDE. All of my fears and anxieties fell away working with the clients here. Most were children, some were adults, but I never felt judged or awkward, and I looked forward to every shift I could work. I started as a "sidewalker" and got to train as a "leader" (in charge of grooming, tacking and leading the horse through the sessions). Unfortunately, after a few months my health took a turn for the worse and I haven't been able to go back yet. I definitely will, though. Just like the students get to build on their skills through the program, I imagine I'll need to build my stamina and confidence back up as I go. Everyone here is so supportive and friendly, I miss going in to help. I miss seeing the progress my "little peanuts" made every single session. I miss our silly songs and games and most of all I miss their strong, determined hearts and the near constant laughter. Project RIDE affects everyone who participates - students, instructors, volunteers, observers. Everyone should visit at least once to see the wonderful things they are accomplishing there all the time.

1 Brenna M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every visit to Project RIDE is a fun learning experience, not just for the riders, but for the volunteers too! The staff, volunteers, and riders are all like a close family. I have never left the arena without a smile that remains with me for the rest of the day. Project RIDE is a special place filled with special people!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter became a client after suffering a muscle disease. When she began riding, she was very weak, and required a backrider and two sidewalkers. She rode with Project Ride for several years. When she started, she was in a wheelchair and barely able to sit upright. At the end of her time at Project Ride, she was able to walk again and could ride independently. When she was in the hospital, her one wish was to be able to ride horses again. I believe that Project Ride became her inspiration to keep trying, even when it seemed that her life could never be 'normal' again. I can't say enough about the founder, Chris Mc Parland, and all the selfless, wonderful volunteers who made this organization happen. I hope they have some idea how many lives they've improved.

1 Kimberli H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My teen daughter was a client served. We gladly waited on the list to start sessions, and when she did we were not disappointed. She rode for almost 2 years, then we moved from area.
I can not say enough about Project RIDE, their staff, and their passion for those with disabilities.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Excellent Organization! Treats all volunteers like stars, and everybody has a great time, while really helping kids with special needs!