To celebrate 40 years of serving people with special needs, Project R.I.D.E.’s therapeutic horseback riding program is upgrading its facilities and expanding programs. A covered outdoor riding arena and upgraded sensory trail will complement existing indoor facilities. A specialized simulator brings more people the joy of riding, and new programs in development will reach a greater audience.
“In 2020, we are poised to expand our capacity to its greatest level ever,” says Executive Director Tina Calanchini. “But volunteer support is key.”
Three trained volunteers accompany each rider, helping develop academic and social skills, while the horse offers the physical challenge of maintaining balance on a moving animal.
“If you don’t show, they don’t go,” Community Outreach Manager Marisa DeSalles tells new volunteers in monthly training sessions. “Without volunteer support, we must cancel lessons.” The need for volunteer support is constant and ongoing.
“From high schoolers to retirees, we depend on community members giving their precious time,” says Calanchini. “With a little bit of yours, we can go on harnessing the magic for years to come.”