Making therapeutic riding possible in Washington, D.C.
Please click here to read a recent Washington Post article about Jackson, one of our beloved horses.
Rock Creek Riders, Inc (RCR) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization established in 2004 to raise funds to make therapeutic riding available to disadvantaged children and adults with physical, learning, and/or emotional disabilities. Headquartered in Washington D.C., RCR funds two very special therapeutic riding programs at the Rock Creek Park Horse Center (RCPHC): one for children in D.C. Public Schools with mental, physical, or learning disabilities and another, called the Ridewell Program, for U.S. servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Therapeutic riding (TR) has been used for several decades to improve the quality of life of individuals with cognitive, emotional, social and physical disabilities. The gentle, responsive motion of the horse provides physical stimulation that strengthens leg and trunk muscles and improves balance and coordination in riders with physical disabilities. Instructors encourage riders to listen and follow directions, focus on the task at hand, plan ahead, work on exercises requiring teamwork, and remember instructions given in previous lessons. RCHPC has instructors certified by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA), as well as volunteers trained as leaders and sidewalkers.