Who We Are

The Exceptional Riders Program was formed in 1983 and is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing horseback riding lessons for individuals with physical, mental, and emotional support needs. The program meets in spring and fall for eight weeks, one night per week, two classes per night. Students are taught riding skills and not just given a “pony ride”. The horse is controlled, not led. The 1-hour lesson consists of mounted exercise, games, and riding instructions. Standards of safety and instruction are top priority to enhance the rider’s physical and mental well-being. Goals are set for each individual according to their needs, experience, and ability level. The volunteers are there to help them meet those goals.

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We strive to help our students:

Physically strengthen and relax muscles to develop balance, agility, and coordination.
Socially develop new friendships, have fun, and share happiness.
Psychologically develop self-awareness, gain a sense of achievement, increase motivation, awareness, and courage.

Program Goals

The Exceptional Riders Program encourages individuals with special needs to improve balance and self-esteem through the use of therapeutic horseback riding.
Exceptional Riders has extensive knowledge and expertise with nearly 40 years of Therapeutic Riding horsemanship.
Our instructors are PATH certified.
The Exceptional Riders Program is accredited through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.
Our volunteers are trained.
Our horses are trusted.
Use of horses generously donated by Rising Hope Equestrian Center.
Students participate free of charge.