Horses helping people. People helping horses.
CTRH brings healing, joy and sense of purpose to children, adults and military veterans with disabilities. We do it with equine-assisted activities and therapies, and programs in which participants rehabilitate horses rescued from crisis situations.
Equine therapy is uniquely suited to help our participants overcome all sorts of challenges, and our collaborations reflect that, including those with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Cincinnati VA, Ft. Thomas VA, Dayton VA, Hamilton County Veterans Justice Outreach, Hospice of Cincinnati, Queen City Hospice, Fernside, and many others – the list just keeps growing!
Metrics that Matter.
In 1985, we served 5 children with 1 pony. This year, with the help of over 200 volunteers who will provide over 4,000 hours of service, we’re on track to help almost 600 people who struggle with cognitive, physical and emotional issues, oftentimes in combination.
With your donation to CTRH, you will become part of a movement that is providing significant benefits to members of our community with serious disabilities. And not only will you be helping them overcome the challenges they face, you’ll be putting a smile on each one of their faces.
Five programs make it all possible:
1. Adaptive Recreational Riding. For many of our participants, the only time they experience effortless movement is when they’re riding. Imagine what it must feel like for these riders to move freely through space, without having to fight uncooperative muscles or engage a wheelchair. At CTRH, we see it every day, and the reaction never grows old: children often otherwise silent or dispirited just cackling with laughter!
Are there therapeutic benefits? You bet, but those aren’t on anyone’s mind when we’re riding! We’re just having fun, and improving our riding skills. In fact, this year, for the first time in CTRH’s 31-year history, we sent a team of riders to the Special Olympics!
2. W.O.R.T.H. for Military Veterans W.O.R.T.H. stands for Warrior’s Own Road to Horsemanship, and is on track this year to provide programming to 450 veterans living with PTSD and TBI. The program utilizes rescued wild mustangs, and – as reported by FOX 19, WCPO-TV, and Local 12, vets are experiencing outcomes previously unavailable to them.
For example, one vet with PTSD reported that he hasn’t slept since combat, but that he slept every night following his classes at CTRH.
Another vet, an artist, shared that he hasn’t “had the courage to put pen to paper since his traumatic brain injury.” But he found that courage in the middle of class one night when he left CTRH’s outdoor riding arena and went into the boardroom where he sketched his first piece in years.
These are the sort of breakthroughs that save veterans’ lives. While tragically, 22 veterans commit suicide every day in our country, the two aforementioned vets won’t be among them, because one vet can now finally sleep, and the other veteran can now finally self-express.
Here’s how the program works:
1. CTRH adopts wild mustangs in crisis.
2. W.O.R.T.H. teaches veterans the skills they need to heal and gentle the mustangs.
3. In the process, vets receive the healing and sense of purpose they need and deserve.
4. And the mustangs receive the gentling they need to be adopted out of CTRH and into a loving home.
3. Hippotherapy. This isn’t done with hippos! Instead, hippo is the Greek word for horse, and these riding sessions are led by specially-trained and certified occupational and physical therapists to achieve specific outcomes that help with everyday activities like hygiene, eating, playing and communicating.
Because CTRH is the only therapeutic riding program in Greater Cincinnati to provide Hippotherapy. participants come from as far away as Indiana and Kentucky to take part, and until this past year, CTRH hasn’t been able to keep up with demand.
Last year, however, we added 3 therapists and doubled our capacity, which was a dream come true for moms like Meredith Ready who reports that her son, Anthony, “can now ride a bike and swing on the swing set.”
4. Equine Facilitated Learning. These sessions are provided in collaboration with Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) to residents in its Child and Adolescent Psychiatry program. Outcomes have proven so successful that CCHMC constructed a riding arena at its College Hill campus solely for purposes of the collaboration.
What does success look like? Here’s how one rider put it! “It’s hard not to feel important when you’re on top of a horse.”
5. Mini Outreach. This program allows CTRH to provide its services to participants who can't make the trip to CTRH. Graham Cracker, our miniature horse, comforts and enriches the lives of people at places like Stepping Stones, the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Cincinnati, Hospice of Cincinnati, Fernside, and Queen City Hospice.