Enriching the lives of children and adults with special needs.
You can make a difference and help River Valley Riders achieve the $15,000 challenge grant from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to help build the Afton indoor arena and expand equine assisted activities and therapies. All donations from individuals who have not contributed in the past 12 months are eligible to count toward this challenge grant. Donations totaling $15,000 MUST be raised by River Valley Riders for the Schulze Family Foundation challenge grant of $15,000 to be paid. Now is the time to give and make a difference! And please share this urgent opportunity with your family and friends!
River Valley Riders’ mission is to enrich the lives of children and adults with special needs by providing equine assisted activities and therapies. Our goals are to:
- Improve the quality of life for our clients by providing physical, cognitive and emotional benefits through interaction with the horse. Because participants build skills through highly stimulating physical and educational activities in an outdoor setting, we expect there to be improved social skills at school (for example, teamwork and waiting their turn) and better sleep patterns at home. As new levels of expertise and challenges are met, these accomplishments build self-confidence and participants are more willing to engage in new activities both at school and home.
- Allow people with disabilities to experience the therapeutic effects of horsemanship. A horse's gait is similar to the human walk; this three-dimensional movement is transferred from the horse to the participant and helps to strengthen spine and pelvic muscles and to improve posture and balance. Additional exercises during lessons help to improve coordination and increase flexibility.
- Offer quality services to an increased population in need of these activities. River Valley Riders has received over 200 requests to provide services that we are unable to accommodate with our current capacity of 70 participants. These requests have come from parents, schools and social agencies who serve vulnerable populations.
River Valley Riders was founded in 1999 by a group of dedicated volunteers who saw the positive therapeutic effects of horseback riding for people with disabilities. These benefits include improvement of balance, increase of core strength, development of self-confidence and improvement of social skills.
A major step toward achieving our goals has been completed with the acquisition of 38 acres in Afton. Through owning property, River Valley Riders is able to offer more sessions throughout the year and increase the number of children and adults that benefit from the program. Your donation will help provide greater therapeutic riding and driving opportunities for people with special needs. River Valley Riders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible.