our history and purpose
The Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association was formed in 1991 to provide Therapeutic Horse Back Riding for children and adults with physical, mental, emotional and learning disabilities.
The Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association is a secure organization that works collaboratively within the community to provide unique, accessible therapy to people with disabilities in Powell River.
The Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association will continue to provide therapy with horses, while focussing on increased sustainability and engagement of our community.
can I participate?
Potential participants must have a physical assessment by our physiotherapist and a physician’s referral before they can be considered for the riding program. Clients are selected on a needs basis, but those with physical disabilities have top priority. Disabilities range from Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, Spina Bifida, Downs Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis and Brain and Spinal Cord injuries. We have an average of 75 riders participating in our program each week, ranging from pre-school to senior.
requirements of riding
We have separate classes for pre-school and school-aged children, as well as adults. If you think Therapeutic Riding is for you, or someone you know, please call us at 604.485.0177.
Please note that at present there is a waiting list of people who meet the criteria to participate in the program. When a space becomes available it will be filled by an individual who has been assessed as having the greatest need, or who we believe would best fit the particular class that has a vacancy.
Our program operates from mid to late September and ends in mid-June. We follow the public school schedule, and there are no regular classes on holidays, professional development days, parent/teacher conference days and during the summer and spring break.
Criteria for participation in the School-Aged Children's Program:
- Open to all Kindergarten to Grade 12 students with an identified disability - physical, sensory, emotional, behavioural or learning
- Open to students from the school district, private schools or students who are home schooled
- Referrals can come from school staff, physicians, parents, preschool physiotherapist and occupational therapist
- All students must have a signed physician’s form and parent release agreement prior to participation in the program
- School-aged program physiotherapist assesses students for suitability in the program and scheduling into an appropriate class in consultation with riding instructor/s
- For safety reasons, students must weigh less that 180 lb to participate in the program
why therapeutic riding?
The goal of our therapeutic program is to relax and stretch tight muscles, to develop strength and endurance in weakened areas; improve posture, balance, coordination, concentration and attention. This all leads to better social skills, communication and confidence which helps the riders to be better prepared for school and to participate more fully in all aspects of daily living.
The motion that occurs in the pelvis and hips when riding is similar to that of walking, so it provides the rider with the “movement experience” of what it feels like to walk. For some children, this will actually aid in the development of walking. Riding also provides sensory experience, through touch, sight, sound, smell and movement. For individuals with sensory dysfunction, the contact with the horse and the motion of riding help to calm, regulate and integrate the sensory system.
Our secondary objective is to enable our Volunteers and Staff to become knowledgeable regarding safe, appropriate procedures for the delivery of the program. We do this through an initial training session and monthly safety updates for volunteers. Our staff have completed, and annually renew, their first aid certificates.
how can I help?
Our Association relies heavily on volunteers, donations and fundraising as well as different grants.
Consider volunteering, donating and supporting our fundraisers. Your financial support helps us to raise approximately two thirds of our annual budget!!
integration with the health care community
Local and Regional health care delivery resources have supported the Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association through referrals and financial support. These supporters include Doctors, Therapists, both Acute Care and Public Health, Mental Health Services, and other local organizations that provide support to Persons with Disabilities.
an important message to our supporters
The Powell River Therapeutic Riding Association places a high value on our relationship with you, our donors. Without your support we would not be able to achieve our mission to provide therapeutic rehabilitation to individuals with disabilities through the use of the horse. We thank you for your commitment to us.
We believe that transparency and accountability are essential to our success. Please contact us if you have any questions at 604-485-0177
a final word
The motivating belief is that therapy through horseback riding is one of the more progressive forms of therapy, offering empowerment and inspiring self-confidence, a sense of responsibility and teamwork.
Most importantly, riding is a FUN way to receive therapy!