GRACE Rides incorporates rescue, rehabilitation, and retirement to provide therapeutic riding, equine assisted activities, and horsemanship programs to individuals with special needs. We currently have 13 stalls to house our equine helpers, each with private attached paddock, plus 5 larger “group” turn-out areas. The horses in our GRACE herd vary in size from small to large, and also vary in movement, in order to accommodate a broad variety of body types and weights of our riders.  Each of our horses has been tested vigorously prior to acceptance into the program in order to insure that their talents and dispositions are a good match for our program participants. The horses are tested on multiple things that not just every horse would be willing to do. They have to be, for example:

  • Easy to handle by the participants and volunteers
  • Quiet, calm, and patient by nature
  • Willing and able to stand quietly while riders are playing exercise games or stretching while mounted
  • Walk and trot on the lead line willingly and reliably
  • Walk, trot, and canter off the lead line without argument and by voice commands
  • Be comfortable with all of the toys and games used in lessons
  • Most importantly of all must enjoy their work and human contact

Our program horses are handled and exercised by experienced and specially trained volunteer riders on a scheduled basis, in order to maintain their health and training.  To provide additional mental stimulation, our horses participate in frequent trail rides with approved, experienced riders.  They are also required to participate in horse shows with approved, experienced riders several times each year.  This helps to insure that the horses remain calm and reliable in a show setting.