Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center
Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center
P.O. Box 979
Lexington VA 24450
487 Maury River Rd.,Lexington,VA 24450
Tax ID/EIN: 54-1699898
Year Founded: 1993
Last Updated 2016-07-25
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Why are we a Messenger?
The EQUUS Foundation has designated our organization as a Messenger. Click here to learn more about our horse care and use practices.
Messengers are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency and accountability by their willingness to publish and share extensive data about their operations.
Primary Focus involving horses (Horse Welfare, Public Service, Sport & Recreation): Public Service
Our organization operates programs involved with providing equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) using certified instructors for individuals with special needs.
Our organization is directly responsible for the care of horses to provide its services.
100% of our total programs and services are horse-related.
Our organization conducts its horse-related programs at one facility.
Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
"Horses Helping People." Our therapy herd helps people physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
Hoofbeats offers a variety of programs: therapeutic riding sessions, a quadrille riding program, a sensory trail, Special Olympics, a Hoofbeats show team for open competition, and a "Barn Rat" volunteer program for at-risk youth.<br /><br />1. Riding Sessions: Hoofbeats offers three eight-week riding sessions every year. Sessions are goal oriented toward a competition in the form of an in-house "Dinner Theater" event. At dinner theater, riders have the opportunity to show their new skills to family and friends in a positive yet challenging atmosphere. During the sessions, riders have the opportunity to join various drill teams in demonstrations, flag drills, or horse shows. Special Olympics falls during session one, and "Hear the Beat" fun shows and "Dressage with a View" open shows are options during session two. At the end of session three, Hoofbeats riders compete in the Regional Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV) show, where they experience what it means to be a team competing against other centers, meet new friends, and challenge themselves.<br /><br />2. Quadrille Riding: Hoofbeats is known for its unique contribution to the field of therapeutic riding with its use of the drill team. This form of riding is often called the "ballet of the horse." It is based on the movements of dressage and first appeared as entertainment for royal courts. Hoofbeats presented this approach nationally at the 2002 NARHA conference and has since seen the use of drill team riding expand nationwide. Drill team riding promotes teamwork and camaraderie while it develops correct use of aids, accuracy of movements, spacing, sequencing, and planning ahead. Hoofbeats has three levels of drill. The younger crowd is called the "Drill Bits," the older crew is known as "The Cronies on Ponies," and the most serious invitational team that does demonstrations and competitions is called the "Little Hoofer Drill Team." There is something for everyone at every level in drill team. Every year Hoofbeats holds an annual dinner theater to showcase all of our riders performing quadrille. Our teams also are invited to perform as flag bearers for other equestrian events. It is an entertaining way to connect with community members whether or not they have knowledge of horses. It is also a great way to showcase what disabled riders are capable of doing.<br /><br />3. Sensory Trail: Ryan's Trail opened in November 2010. It is named in honor of one of our long-time riders who loves going out of the ring. The one-mile sensory trail gives our disabled riders the opportunity to go deep into nature and experience the natural world through the senses. The rider experiences the movement of the horse as it walks through different footing such as sand, mulch, or rock dust, or as the horse climbs up and over hills designed to challenge the rider's balance as the horse's center of balance changes. The rider hears the wind in the trees and the horse's footfalls as they cross a wooden bridge. Riders see frogs in rain puddles, butterflies in bushes, and birds in trees. At the end of the trail, a trellis is designed to encourage riders to look up and use fine and gross motor skills to work pulleys and leave messages for other riders, or work for treats or small treasures. The final hill, when fully planted, will feature color and wonderful smells, including lavender, azalea, and butterfly gardens.<br /><br />4. Special Olympics: Hoofbeats has been active with Special Olympics of Virginia since 1998. Hoofbeats and the Virginia Horse Center host the Regional Equestrian Games Venue through the Virginia Military Institute's FTX Games each spring.<br /><br />5. Open Competition Show Team: Riders are selected each session to participate in Hoofbeats' "Hear the Beat" or "Dressage with a View" shows. Riders are expected to act as members of a team, and this experience gives them a chance to prove to themselves that they can compete in an open show venue. This in turn promotes riders' self-esteem and enhances their social acceptance in the larger community.<br /><br />6. "Barn Rat" Program: This program for at-risk youth allows kids to come to Hoofbeats to learn work skills. Participants sign a code of conduct and have the opportunity to learn about horses, the horse industry, and themselves.