This week’s honoree: Central Kentucky Riding for Hope.
First operating as a small pilot program with borrowed horses and just four participants in 1981, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope has grown into a year-round service based the famous Kentucky Horse Park, offering programming for therapeutic riding, veterans, hippotherapy and alternative learning for local schools.
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope’s mission statement is as follows:
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of children and adults with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse.
The original pilot program’s success led to Central Kentucky Riding for Hope being granted the use of a converted barn the Kentucky Horse Park, and the program originally offered its therapies seasonally. CKRH achieved PATH International accreditation in 1987 followed by Premier Accredited Center status in 1998. A $4 million capital campaign in 2005 formed as a response to increased interest in CKRH’s therapeutic offerings, and by 2011 the new indoor facility opened for service, allowing CKRH to offer programs year-round in all weather.
CKRH is guided by a board of directors and operates with a full staff of instructors, directors and managers. The program is also heavily dependent on volunteers, with volunteer opportunities available in the barn, arena or office and facility. CKRH needs over 125 volunteers every week to operate!
While the program is located at the Kentucky Horse Park, CKRH is totally dependent on community support. Are you located in central Kentucky? Swing by this weekend to CKRH’s facility for the Tack Sale and Trail Ride taking place on Saturday — browse tack donated from local horsemen, and bring your horse to enjoy the trails. (There’s also a costume contest at 2 PM!)
If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.