Sunrise Therapeutic Riding Center offers therapeutic horseback riding services to all people, regardless of age, financial status, or disability. They have riders as little as 5 years old, and some even older than 70 years old. Their programs have helped people with multiple sclerosis, ADHD, arthritis, autism, Down Syndrome, and more.
Progress is the goal at Sunrise, and every rider that makes progress is a success story. One rider who has cerebral palsy was using a walker when he started the lessons. During his last session, he was able to hold the saddle and stand in the stirrups, climb over the saddle to the horse’s ears, and then back down into the saddle. He could even stand independently on the ground, something that was impossible for him before.
Volunteers are essential to Sunrise’s success. Dianna Kirksey, Executive Director at Sunrise, shared that they “have many volunteers of variable ages and abilities.” At Sunrise, volunteers as young as six years old are able to contribute their time and abilities. They have different volunteer levels – starting out as side walkers, then becoming horse leaders before becoming mounting assistants and finally training assistants.
Dianna shares, “there is nothing more fulfilling then helping a student to new milestones and successes.” The volunteers are able to experience helping the riders succeed and reach their goals. They help the lessons run smoothly and get to be around the horses.
Each rider at Sunrise is paired with a horse with an appropriate skill level and unique personality. “We work hard to match the right rider, with the right horse to provide a pleasurable, yet challenging, session to each individual,” Dianna says. The horses come from all different backgrounds. One horse, Nipper is a retired police horse, and is blind. Another, Mann, loves moving to the beat of any type of music being played. All the horses are unique and loved by the riders.
To accommodate both the horses and the riders, Sunrise will be expanding their location to include 104 acres next to their current property. This new expansion will allow them to provide their services year-round and the new indoor riding arena will be climate controlled and large enough for both private lessons and group lessons. The added acres will also allow for a new “sensory trail” and obstacle course, as well as other riding trails.
So far, they have raised over $250,000 towards paying for the land. They are still raising money to go towards constructing a new recreational therapy center on the property. Visit their website below to make a donation and support the expansion and growth of Sunrise.
How to Contact This Farm:
2670 Minneman Road
Richmond, IN 47374