Mountin’ Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center is a nonprofit located on a farm in Mars Hill that provides therapeutic riding to children, youth and adults in WNC. Now in its 10th year of operation, Mountin’ Hopes serves more than 180 riders per year in its all-weather facility.
The riders live with a variety of challenges, including multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, developmental disability, vision impairment and many other neurological, physical, emotional and cognitive differences. The experience of therapeutic riding provides riders with the opportunity to achieve goals specific to their different abilities in a noncompetitive and fun environment. The human/horse experience provides a unique motivation for achieving therapeutic goals, and riders experience a boost to their self-esteem by participating in an activity that is traditionally reserved for their typically developing peers.
Mountin’ Hopes riders also benefit from the skill and care of committed volunteers who return session after session to work with the same riders. “We believe in the healing power of horses,” says Pete Nagle, Mountin’ Hopes board chair and the parent of a rider. Info: 689-2291 or www.mountinhopes.org