Ride for Joy serves individuals of all ages, from 4 to 104, with both physical and cognitive special needs.

After admission, students typically ride one day per week for 20-45 minutes, depending on the student.  Sessions last from four to eight weeks and are seasonal. Each lesson is taught by a PATH International Certified Instructor or Instructor-in-Training working under the guidance of a Certified Instructor. Lesson plans with goals and objectives are prepared for each student as the instructor helps the student work toward the ultimate goal of independent riding.

Ride for Joy currently provides the equine assisted activity of therapeutic riding, which has tremendous therapeutic benefits but differs from “equine assisted therapy” in the following ways:

Equine Assisted Activities

(such as Therapeutic Riding)

  • Goals are equine related and include improvement of riding ability, acquisition of leisure skills, self accomplishment, and animal/human interaction
  • Goals are adapted to meet each individual participant’s needs
  • May result in improvement in social skills, quality of life and mobility
  • Focus is on recreation, leisure, sport, and education
  • Lessons are planned and goals established by PATH Intl. certified instructors
  • Lessons are implemented by PATH Intl. certified instructors or instructors-in-training working under the guidance of a PATH Intl. certified instructor
  • Therapists may be consulted, but goals are set by the certified instructors and focus on the leisure activity of riding.

Equine Assisted Therapy

(such as Hippotherapy)

  • Goals are therapy related and include improved function and rehabilitation
  • Hippotherapy uses the horse’s movement to achieve therapy-based goals
  • Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy uses the equine/human relationship to achieve therapy-based goals
  • Sessions are planned and implemented by licensed/credentialed medical professionals (such as a PT, OT, SLP, RN, MD, or Psychologist)

To learn more about our Therapeutic Riding program and how to get involved, please contact:

Heather Miner- Program Manager


Lauren Hull- Volunteer Manager