Cassidy’s Cause Therapeutic Riding Academy helps individuals move beyond the confines of their bodies and disabilities into new, unexplored worlds. Watching individuals interact with horses and gain confidence and self- esteem is truly an unforgettable experience. Proud parents observe their children sitting tall in the saddle, smiling brightly and laughing uncontrollably while riding horses.
CCTRA's mission is to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to grow and develop through therapeutic, educational and recreational activities, while on a horse.
CCTRA serves more than 60 participants in 2014 ranging in age from 4-51 years old. The special needs of weekly riders typically include autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, Down's Syndrome, and traumatic brain injury.
For individuals with impaired mobility, horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves their bodies in three planes: forward and backward, side to side and up and down. Riders experience increased balance, muscle control and strength. Horseback riding helps individuals with learning or cognitive disabilities improve their concentration, recognition, vocabulary and task completion. The unique bond formed with the horse can help improve personal relationships, patience and behavior among individuals with psychological or emotional disabilities.
CCTRA offers weekly therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with special needs. Each lesson is typically 1 hour in duration. Weekly riding lessons include grooming, tacking, exercises and games on horseback, tailored to riders individual needs and designed to help them advance their abilities. CCTRA offers summer horse camp opportunities in an inclusion model for children with and without disabilities.
In June of 2013 CCTRA was accepted into the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). All CCTRA instructors are PATH International certified. If you are an instructor in training, CCTRA offers mentorships and will work with you to fulfill your required hours of instruction.
Volunteers are the backbone of the Cassidy’s Cause program. Previous experience with horses or disabled individuals is not required. CCTRA offers a comprehensive volunteer orientation training program for the care of the horses and the riders. Many willing hands are always needed and welcome to continue helping CCTRA riders succeed. An average riding lesson pairs one rider with three volunteers: a leader for the horse and two side-walkers, plus an instructor. Volunteers are also needed to assist with barn activities, farm maintenance, office duties, fundraising, planning social activities and much more. Whatever your skills and talents, you will find a home for them at Cassidy’s Cause.
You can also donate to a rider, pay a rider's fees and tuition, purchase items from their wishlist, donate your horse or tack, or offer an overall sponsorship. CCTRA is grateful for the generosity of the local business community, receiving 'in kind' donations of goods and services that help stretch the operating budget further.