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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Board Member

Rating: 5

A success story: Nadia is a beautiful 3 ½ year old girl who was born in Russia. Born without arms and with her right leg two inches shorter than her left. She was adopted by an American couple who had that special love that is so important in adopting a child with special needs. Nadia started equine-assisted therapy at SpiritHorse in the Fall 2005 session. She has learned to walk at SpiritHorse, leading her pony Snowflake independently. Imagine the difficulty of leaning to walk without arms and with one short leg! We place Snowflake’s lead rope over Nadia’s shoulder and she holds it with her chin. Since she has extreme difficulty walking, she must take one step and regain her balance. Without any training from us, Snowflake takes a single step and waits for Nadia to take another. Nadia brushes Snowflake by having the brush strapped to her foot. We also attached Snowflake’s reins to a safety vest and Nadia has learned to turn her by twisting her shoulders and stop her by leaning back. You should see the sparkle in Nadia’s eyes as she controls her pony! We believe in our children.