The dream of starting a program for children and adults with special needs began over 25 years ago. Former Stepping Stones Center Executive Director, Sue Radabaugh, horsewoman Bobbi Thies, and stable owner Childress (“Chile”) Rodgers were inspired by children with special needs who responded positively when they interacted with horses. After contact with what was then called NARHA, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now PATH, Intl.) the women learned about the therapeutic benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapies for people with disabilities. Bobbi and Sue became NARHA Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and Chile offered her facility, Childress Rodgers Stables, and the use of her horses to establish Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship (CTRH).
CTRH promotes the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy in equine-assisted activities and therapies for people living with disabilities. Children, youth, and adults who have special needs participate in CTRH’s current programs.
CTRH’s program has increasingly grown throughout the years and now provides over 2,000 hours of direct service to participants on an annual basis. No one is turned away due to inability to pay for services.
New programs are being explored including Equine Services for HeroesTM, a therapeutic program for war veterans, as well as additional therapeutic mental health programs. As the Lone Ranger said after accomplishing his good deeds, “Hi Yo Silver, Away!” to the next 25 years!
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