HOPE Equestrian Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, emotional and learning disabilities. HOPE began in the Rogue Valley in 1988 and has been in operation since 1994. Each year HOPE provides services to individuals with a wide range of disabilities. We work with families and professionals to design a riding program that directly benefits each individual’s therapeutic goals.
Saddling up on a horse is an enjoyable experience for many people, but for an individual with a disability it can signify much more—a road to improvement and recovery. Each year people with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities benefit from equine-assisted activities. Whether it’s a five-year-old with Down Syndrome, or a 45year-old recovering from a spinal cord injury, horseback riding provides challenges as well as rewards for many. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination and motor development. For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with a horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem, as well as emotional well-being. The sense of independence found on horseback benefits all who ride.