Central Kentucky Riding for Hope
Services: Sanctuary, Equine-Assisted
Location: Lexington, KY
Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 8
Central Kentucky Riding for Hope (CKRH)’s mission is to improve the quality of life and health of individuals with special physical, cognitive, or behavioral needs through equine-assisted activities and therapies. CKRH, entering its 43rd year, provides direct services to more than 250 participants of all ages each year, and community education to 650+ individuals throughout multiple Kentucky counties.
CKRH services include:
Therapeutic Riding, our cornerstone: Our nurturing instructors and volunteer teams encourage the most physically fragile of our participants to develop strength, balance, and motor skills – all while learning to ride a horse. A child who can eventually sit upright on a horse will have the physical capacity to do the same in a chair or on the toilet. A non-verbal child who learns to say “walk on” or “whoa” to their horse demonstrates an ability to further develop their language skills. A child who can grasp a horse’s reins can eventually do the same with a fork to feed themselves.
The Stables: An accredited curriculum of Fayette County Public Schools, CKRH welcomes nearly 50 students in grades 8 through 12 each day during the school year to study a syllabus that includes unmounted, and mounted Equine Studies in addition to core subjects like Math, Science, and History. This hands-on experience with horses not only supports the academic standards required for graduation, but also reinforces life skills such as responsibility, patience, and the teamwork needed for future success in the workforce.
Military programs: Designed for both active-duty and veteran soldiers, mounted and unmounted services provide resiliency exercises to help with readjustment to civilian life. The emotional benefits of bonding with a horse go a long way in supporting soldiers as they develop new coping skills and reduce the anxiety that often accompanies post-deployment experiences.
Mental health programs: Unmounted programs provide a safe environment for people of all ages. Whether it’s a socially anxious teenager, an adult survivor of trauma, or a senior citizen feeling isolated, these warm, fuzzy activities are designed to help participants cope with painful emotions, learn how to trust, and experience safe social interactions with others.