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Spirithorse Therapeutic Riding Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Health, Human Services, Protection Against Abuse, Rehabilitative Care

Mission: The primary focus of spirithorse is to assist individuals with special needs in reaching their full potential through interaction with horses.

Programs: Spirithorse therapeutic riding center, dba spirithorse international, is a 501(c)3 that provides free equine-assisted therapy to children and adults with disabilities, histories of abuse, at-risk youth and veterans. Our mission is to assist individuals with special needs in reaching their full potential through interaction with horses. We change lives. We serve clients entirely free of charge through our research-based, award-winning equine-assisted healthcare program. And we estimate that at least 65% of our families would otherwise not be able to afford this therapy. Spirithorse changes the lives of our clients by aiding in their full scope of development. Our program helps them to succeed in their academic development, their communication and social development, promotes physical health and well-being, and counteracts the effects of disabilities through our research-based methods.

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son's Neurologist recommended Spirithorse to us when Aiden was 2 years old. Based on Aiden's brain damage we were told to have hope but be prepared that Aiden may not walk. When we contacted Spirithorse, they took Aiden even though he could not sit up and was ventilator dependent. Early on, it was very difficult for Aiden, very hard work. With the support, compassion and patience from Spirithorse Aiden was able to obtain body strength, balance and endurance and is walking independently. Aiden now really enjoys the riding and looks forward to his sessions. We cannot say enough about Charles and his staff at Spirithorse. They have made a huge impact on our lives.

Misty S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a genuinely wonderful service to offer to the community. I cannot tell you how much Spirit horse has meant to my seven-year old son. It is so touching to see how lights up inside when he is able to take care of and ride his horse. It has made such a difference in his life. Thank you so much, Spirit ,for all you have done and continue to do!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We have been attending Spirit Horse for 10 years. Through their love, compassion and committment they have transformed our introverted autistic child into a young man more confident then we could have anticipated and willing to attempt new things. This is by far his most treasured weekly event and has become an example of what selflessness and dedication can create.

Kimberly31

Client Served

Rating: 5

My medically fragile 13 year old daughter has up to 8 kinds of therapies a week. ALL of her doctors and therapists say SPIRITHORSE has been THE single most beneficial therapy for her. She has been going for 6 years now and we couldn't be more DELIGHTED! The staff are wonderful. The horses are so gentle. And Mr. Fletcher? He must be related to Santa Clause! My daughter looks forward to going every week, and even though she only functions at a 10 month old level, she KNOWS Buttercup, and Buttercup KNOWS her.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spirit Horse has been so awesome for my son. He has turned out to be quite the horseman and is taling in full sentences. This has been the best experience we have had. thanks lauri tyler

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter was on the waiting list of a year before we were able to enjoy the life changing services offered by Spirit Horse! It was well worth the wait and the drive! The people are exceptional, the horses are amazingly knowledgable. Yes the horses! They know the tolerance level of my child. We are so appreciative and supportive of Spirit Horse and the people that work hard to make sure this service continues to be an option for so many who need it!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We just love Spirit Horse. My son looks forward to riding his horse every weekend. He has amazingly learned a lot more than what I gave him credit for from just learning the basic steps of getting the horse ready and riding his horse. It's a true blessing for him to be able to connect with nature and Spirit Horse gave him that opportunity. Thank you so much Spirit Horse!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spirit Horse is amazing! My son has been riding there for the past 6 months and it is the thing he most looks forward to each week. It is the most serene place and it is absolutely amazing to watch the miracles happening there! Thank you!!!

Faydra L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have two sons who have Down’s Syndrome. The boys are 8 and 11 years old, and we have been coming to Spirit Horse for 4 years. We love the program they have developed, and the trainers are amazing! Coming to Spirit Horse has helped the boys(Christian and Ian) to develop self confidence and their strength and balance. We appreciate all of the hard work that goes into providing this great service. The boys always look forward to coming back each season!

Client Served

Rating: 5

We just love Spirit Horse! They have a wonderful staff, it is such a calming and relaxing environment for my child, and the horses are amazing! Everything is so well organized and everyone works with amazing precision! My child has been blessed by being there! We love being a part of something so amazing! Thank you to everyone at Spirit Horse.....it has been a wonderful opportunity! Kelly B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been riding with Spirit Horse for several years now. The progress she has made is wonderful. She went from being terrified of the horses to wanting to trot. She is very happy when she realizes we are here. Stephanie is her instructor. She is great with Kaitlin. All of the staff are very friendly and helpfu. Spirit Horse is an incredible organization that deserves all the help it can get. Thanks so much. Kaitlin follows directions better here than at home. That's one way I know how much good this place is doing for her. Anything that helps Kaitlin listen better helps her overall progress.

Mandi C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

We LOVE Spirit Horse! My daughter has gone with her Life Skills class for years. It's the highlight of her week! The volunteers and employees are absolutely wonderful, too! My daughter has DS so it's great for to help her with her gravitational insecurities, low muscle tone issues and OT. I love that she not only rides the horses but that she cares for them with brushing, saddling, etc...Spirit Horse is wonderful!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son is high functioning autistic. SpiritHorse has been VERY instrumental in my son's development. The staff are very friendly, compassionate, and helpful. This center is truly a blessing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is 5 and was diagnosed with dystonic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Her severe motor challenges do not allow her independent mobility and yet with the help and guidance of the angels working at Spirit Horse. She gets on a horse and rides once a week. At first we could not make it up the drive of the property without her getting apprehensive and upset. Four rides later she was brushing her horse and feeding him a carrot with a smile. We're now at 8 rides and my daughter is showing improved strength in her trunk and neck. There is more to riding for my girl than just what physical gains she may recieve. There is a indescribable spirit about the people and the property that brings a healing not only to the rider but to everyone watching and enjoying the ride. As a parent it brings me real joy to know that there are people so giving of their time and knowledge that they would help my child and in turn help me and my husband. We are eternally grateful for the peace Spirit Horse has gifted us with.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Faye . I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1994. Gradually my mobility worsened to the point that I have to use scooter. I suffered sever spasticity and lack of balance. When I learned about Spirit horse and met with Mr. Fletcher, it was like a dream coming true. I was totally amazed with his down to earth , giving and caring character. I don't have the financial situation to pay for these type of treatments but they never asked me for anything. When I think or talk about Spirit Horse my heart is full of love, joy and appreciation for all the caring that the instructors provide for riders with different types of disabilities under Mr. Fletcher's strict guidance and leadership. I have not seen such dedicated and loving people who would do whatever they can to help someone like me sit on the horse and have the therapy. After two years of horse therapy my balance has improved tremendously, Lower back pain, Muscle spasms and spasticity has decreased according to doctor's evaluation. Spirit Horse is just a Blessing for mel

Meg H.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been diagnosed with RAD or Reactive Attachment Disorder. Because of her losses of relationships early on she struggles to initiate and maintain relationships. Losses of relationships often leave kids feeling out of control as well. A counselor told us about Equine Therapy and we contacted Spirit Horse. Our daughter has been involved now for a year and has made remarkable improvements in initiating friendships with classmates and bonding with our family. This time with her equine friend allows her to have a sense of control which helps her to relax and self regulate. We didn't pursue Spirit Horse to help her with low self esteem but that has improved as well as she has learned and become confident in a new skill. We are thankful for Spirit Horse.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son, Clay, was born 10 weeks premature. He spent six weeks in the NICU before he came home with us, and Clay has dealt with multiple developemental delays. He was diagnosed at 18 months with cerebral palsy. He was not walking at that time. We began horse riding therapy at Spirit Horse shortly after this. Within 3 weeks of therapy Clay was taking steps. Clay continued riding at Spirit Horse until he started second grade. We credit the experiences Clay had at Spirit Horse for increased muscle tone, better balance, confidence, and coordination. Charles Fletcher (the founder) is absolutely wonderful. He has such a big heart for the kids. Great organization!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Spirithorse is a tremendous blessing to our family. We are so grateful for this magical place.

Deanna5

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been receiving services from Spirithorse since before he could walk! He has been riding for over 7 years now and we could not speak more highly of this program and the staff and volunteers. My son has created a beautiful bond with his pony and instructor and has blossomed socially in part due to his interaction with the staff and animals. His confidence has been bolstered learning and excelling in a new skill. He is a compassionate child anyway so this has been amazing to watch in his relationship with his pony and helping to care for her. The cognitive aspects of taking steps to get his pony prepped has helped him hugely with memory and following procedures and in encouraging him to take more responsibility in general. The physical aspect of riding a horse helps with his trunk strength and stability as well as positioning his feet and legs more properly. My son walked earlier and sturdier and more independently than his therapists ever thought he would and we are ever so grateful for the part that Spirithorse has played in all of his accomplishments this far. And it's just plain fun! He loves going! And he loves showing off his riding skills which are quite impressive!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our Son Alex is a brain tumor survivor. He was diagnosed at 14 months old. He has been through many years of surgeries, chemo therapy and a bone marrow transplant. Because of his treatment, Alex has significant left sided weakness. Spirit Horse has been a godsend. Every week Alex looks forward to seeing the friendly, supportive staff and loves being able to learn to ride horses. He has gained confidence and becomes stronger all the time in a beautiful, fun, non-clinical setting. Thank you Spirit Horse!