The Issue: Therapeutic Riding Center Needs New Equipment
In 2012–2013, ridership at NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center increased by 25%. Although the expansion speaks to the success of its Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) for individuals with disabilities, it has nonetheless placed a strain on the facility’s ability to provide age- and program-appropriate equipment. The center only charges a nominal tutition, which covers less than 20% of its program costs.
With new and updated equipment, the center can continue its focus on equine therapy, which benefits children and adults with a wide range of disabilities. In children with autism, for instance, exposure to therapeutic horseback riding can result in greater social motivation and sensory sensitivity and less inattention and distractability, while those with spastic cerebral palsy can experience significant improvement in symmetry of muscle activity.
The Campaign: Supplying Equine-Assisted Therapy Equipment
All donations to this Grassroots campaign up to $160 will be matched by NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center's Board of Directors and used by the center to accommodate the expansion of its Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies programs. The first $160 raised will go directly to the purchase of equipment for its sensory riding trail, a network of woodland paths and activity stations that challenges participants’ balance, stimulates the senses, and encourages interaction with the environment. Further donations will purchase other needed equipment for the facility, such as vinyl traffic cones, buckets, beanbags, activity books and DVDs, and 55-gallon plastic barrels.
NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center
Julia Chapin Bozzo has been on an equestrian crusade for 20 years. She founded NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center in 1993, and has overseen its Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) programs since day one, fostering a welcoming, nurturing environment for riders with disabilities such as autism, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and brain injuries. Adhering to the strict guidelines set forth by PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International), her facility leverages the healing power of horses to enrich the well-being of riders of all ages. Whether they're toddlers or seniors, each participant reaps the physical, mental, emotional, and social rewards of riding with the center’s gentle horses—gaining strength and coordination, interacting with the natural world, and, most importantly, building self-esteem. Thanks to Julia’s efforts and the assistance of certified riding instructors and a 30-strong team of weekly volunteers, the center conducts more than 950 lessons annually, each individually tailored to the rider’s therapeutic goals.
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