Introduction

Making Strides of Virginia recognizes the increase in the number of individuals in our community with special needs or military service-related injuries that are living without essential services. To address these gaps, our staff members have established programs and services that offer a safe and secure environment in which to participant in a variety of exercises and opportunities to interact with our equestrian staff.

Our therapists are Neurodevelopmental Pediatric Specialists specializing in Sensory Integration. Whether participating in physical, occupational, or speech-language pathology services using the equine movement for rehabilitation or participating in adaptive riding and driving sessions, participants can improve their motor coordination by engaging the sensory, neuromotor, and cognitive systems. Our comprehensive program also allows individuals to improve their vertical and horizontal balance, increase muscle tone, and develop healthy lifestyle habits. In addition, our services address the emotional and educational needs of our clients. Physical, occupationn and speech-language pathology services incorporrating equine movement into thier plan of care and adaptive riding programs have proven to positively impact the communication skills of our clients through the bond they form with the horse. We have also developed meaningful relationships with SOAR 365-Camp Baker, and other community programs, that may provide additional services to our participants.

To reach as many individuals as possible, our organization also offers our riding and driving services to military veterans in need. This program is specifically designed for military personnel who suffer from PTSD or other physical/psychological ailments. Our equine programs involve more than just riding lessons – some of the greatest benefits come from the simplest acts of grooming and caring for the horses. We utilize horse grooming and riding to encourage no-impact stretching and bending, providing for both mental and physical benefits for veterans experiencing service-related disabilities.

Making Strides of Virginia will continue to practice strong financial stewardship with the funding that we obtain. The community support that we receive will allow our organization to purchase essential equipment and construct an indoor arena. These additions to our current programming will allow our representatives to reach as many individuals as possible, year round.