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2015 - Another Record Year of Service
With your help, Ride On has put individuals with disabilities on horseback nearly 8,000 times this year – another all-time record! For the fifth year in a row, Ride On has carefully and prudently expanded our service to the disabled. We are building a sustainable organization that will, literally, be here for generations of children and adults to come.
Another milestone: in our history we have now given over 91,000 lessons and treatments—safely. We have two permanent homes serving two wonderful communities. We provide thousands of hours of community service to our teenagers, teaching them important, lifelong, lessons.
So what’s next?
- We will break ground before year-end on our Education and Therapy Building which will allow us to TRIPLE the number of physical, occupational and speech therapy treatments we give each year. We remain the only nationally accredited facility that has PT/OT and Speech therapy on staff providing hippotherapy in ALL of LA or Ventura County. (www.RideOn.org/new_home.html.)
- We are building on the success of the Special Olympics World Games. Not a single California athlete was even eligible to compete in equestrian at the World Games because Special Olympics Southern California does not support equestrian. We want to change that. We are approaching the leaders of Special Olympics in the state to re-launch their equestrian programming building on Ride On’s success managing the World Games last July.
- We made a major push this year to expand our service to the Westside of Los Angeles at the historic Will Rogers State Park. The State rejected our proposal because it, in their words, “focuses on therapeutic equestrian services.” We believe the State’s position violates its own policies on providing accessible programs to the disabled and the requirements of the ADA to provide equal opportunity to those with disabilities. Ride On is beginning to lead an effort to change the policies of the California State Parks Department. (www.RideOn.org/willrogers.html.)
- Veterans continue to be served at our ranches without charge by our team of specially trained family therapists and horse handlers. Here is the way the spouse of one veteran sees it: “I understand the magnitude of the gift you have given me. It has been so powerful working with the horses…”
- More than ever, scholarships remain vital to fulfill our commitment to serve those in financial hardship. We target 25% of all lessons and therapy treatments given to be scholarships. Your support in any of these areas will yield dividends next year and beyond.
- We will continue to provide and expand our service to individuals of all ages with all abilities.
Ride On has always been a leader in accountability to our supporters and transparency to the public. For years, we have posted our audit and tax forms and more on our website at www.RideOn.org/annual_report.html. I am very proud of that and it represents my personal commitment to you.
If you haven’t been to our ranches recently or at all, please stop by most anytime between Tuesday and Saturday. Thirty years ago I walked onto a therapeutic riding ranch for the first time. It made a difference in my life. I still think that’s the best way to get to know us. Your tax-deductible donation will make a difference to our riders and our horses. Thank You.
Bryan McQueeney, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Our son Riley has been with Ride On for several weeks and I can honestly say that within those weeks we have seen more change in him then we have seen in the six years of therapy.
Riley has been able to share a special connection with the horses to the point where we have noticed his physical demeanor changes in their presence.
Riley enjoying a moment with TigerLilly; his favorite pony at the ranch
He is actually talking in sentences while on the horse as well as talking about the horse riding throughout the week anticipating excitement for his next appointment. It has truly changed his life. My only regret is that we did not start sooner.
We are beyond grateful for the amazing staff for taking such good care of our little man and for having such patience and love for the connection between their horses and our beautiful children.