Our Riders

Christian 

Thor Diakow copy

Since Christian joined the Therapeutic horseback riding program at RTRA, he has been improving his personal development in many areas.

In Christian and other children with learning disabilities, therapeutic riding helps to build confidence and master their social skills, Christian used to have a high anxiety, now since he joined this therapeutic program, he doesn’t have it at all or have learned how to manage it by working closely with horses, Dusty, IR or Copper.

The drills they practice have helped him in his “eye hand” coordination, gross and fine motors skills, (when he tides up the bridle), balance, muscular tone, core strength, postural control, he has learned how to ride a horse and learned the equestrian riding posture, etc.

Listening skills, following 2-3 directions like “ride to the basket, pick up the ball, and throw it into the hula-hoops”, etc., he is also developing executive function skills attending his lessons regularly and, making sure he is wearing proper clothing and developing safety awareness by wearing the belt and helmet when is on site.

Also, in communication and cognitive development, Christian has been developing and increasing his language comprehension, while he incorporates new vocabulary as bridle, bit, reins, hoofs, saddle, also parts of the horse, etc., and social skills because he interacts with other riders, instructors and volunteers.

In addition to all these benefits, it is very rewarding to see Christian enjoying his therapeutic lessons and having a lot of fun, besides that he is learning equestrian literacy, developing social skills, enjoyment, confidence, horsemanship relationship and sportsmanship, he is having a lot of fun and making great memories at the RTRA.

He enjoys participate on the Horse Shows because he gets rewards, ribbons when he wins a place!

The instructors make it very fun and enjoyable for the riders.

Thank you so very much to all the Staff from the Richmond Therapeutic Program and volunteers for all the effort and hard work put into this amazing program.

Higgs Torres Family

 

Emily 

emily and dusti

My daughter Emily has been going to RTRA for about 10 years now.  When she first started, she just laid on top of the horse and hung on for dear life.  Later on, there was a difficulty with getting on the horse, which we persisted through- because once she was on, she was flying high.

Through it all I cannot say enough about how great RTRA has been.  The volunteers that help out there are truly exceptional.  They connect to the kids that they work with and my daughter often talks about Kippy and Anne, and the other walkers and leaders.  My daughter has something interesting she does and there are not many things that she does that immediately generates a response of ” oh- you do riding?, where, what’s your horses name, how often do you go, what do you do?’ 

Every year, she gets so excited about summer- why is summer so exciting- because that is when horse camp happens.  She learns about grooming, tack, feeding and cleaning. I am very grateful to the many dedicated people who make RTRA happen.  It has made a huge difference to my daughter in terms of action/consequence understanding.  She is really learning to follow the leaders instructions and is so proud of herself when she learns new skills.  Emily will never be a fast learner, but she will learn and RTRA is always patient and encouraging.  It is a wonderful organization not only because of what they do, but because the people in it make it  that way.    

Gina Oleksiew