Rolling Ridge Riding, Inc. is a therapy based horseback riding program for children with disabilities located north of Reidsville in Rockingham county. Rolling Ridge Riding was founded by a pediatric physical therapist in 2000. Since that time, it has grown into a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization that serves children with special needs free of charge. Children and volunteers come throughout North Central North Carolina and South Central Virginia.
Rolling Ridge Riding offers two programs. Therapy riders attend on Monday evenings in segmented rides from spring to fall. These children receive therapy on horseback from licensed physical, occupational, and speech therapists who volunteer their time. These therapists come from the Rockingham Co. Schools and other sources. EC teachers and other educators from the Rockingham Co. School system also participate. A special basic educational curriculum is presented to the children while they are in the riding ring on horseback. Children with cerebral palsy, spina bifida, developmental delays, autism, genetic/congenital birth defects and neurological disorders such as tumors, stroke, and varied forms of paralysis or developmental delays experience the joy of outdoor exercise, therapy, and friendships with as much support as is needed for them to accomplish goals such as learning to sit up, walk, or even talk. Some of our autistic children who aren’t talking at school are talking/saying words on horseback!
The Equestrian Team is comprised of special needs individuals seven years of age or older. On Saturdays, the Equestrian team mounts up to learn to ride and this team goes on to compete in adapted classes in horse shows. They have shown in the Equestrian Special Olympics, 4H, and open horse shows in Rockingham County.
Rolling Ridge Riding provides a place where parents can find a support system and children who are differently abled develop friendships, self esteem, and soar to achieve new accomplishments. High school and college students find Rolling Ridge Riding a great place to perform community service, and to be exposed to many different occupations as well. Many of our volunteers have gone on to colleges to major in pediatric therapies, nursing, and EC educational careers. Rolling Ridge Riding has interacted with multiple universities (The Exceptional Children’s program at NC A&T State University, Occupational Therapy program at WSSU, the Recreational Therapy program at UNCG, and others).
Rolling Ridge Riding serves 50 to 60 special needs children each season. It has been estimated that over $3,000,000 of free therapy services have been donated in our area since the year 2000! It is a gathering place that brings all people together to form a very positive community.
So how is Rolling Ridge Riding able to give away so much, not charging for the horseback ride, tutoring, or therapies? Rolling Ridge Riding requires that all families who are served participate in fundraising activities. The program’s total budget alone is $45,000 range per year.
Rolling Ridge Riding is dependent on donations, fund raisers, and searches out/competes for grant monies as well. There is no guaranteed income to keep this community outreach going. It depends squarely on the participation and willingness of the families who come to help it continue each year as they commit to help work in fundraisers.
For more information check out our contact us page.