Ride On Therapeutic Horsemanship
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December 2017

“I cannot thank the staff, volunteers, and supporters at Ride On enough.
They made and continue to make a huge difference in my daughters’ lives.”

In 1998 my husband and I adopted a beautiful 12-month-old girl from China. She was significantly underweight, not even registering on a growth chart. From the beginning it was noted that she had developmental delays, but her pediatrician thought that it was likely due to malnutrition and the orphanage environment where she spent her first year of life. When she was 9 we had her evaluated by a specialist who had little hope for her future and advice was to set up a good trust fund for her, adding that most children have some strengths, but she had significant deficits in every category tested.  We continued working with various therapists and programs to give her every chance that we could to live a full life.

A friend of ours, who also has a special needs daughter, told us about Ride On as her daughter was taking riding lessons there and going to camp. My daughter always had an interest in horses and I thought it might be a fun activity for her. By this time, she was diagnosed as having autism. At the end of her first summer at Ride On we noticed a huge difference in her communication skills and level of interest in other things. The only thing that had changed that summer was her going to Ride On for a week of camp and weekly riding lessons. Suddenly from being a very quiet and withdrawn child, she was a chatterbox and interested in many different things where as before she would only talk about a few topics of interest to her. That was 7 years ago. She continues to ride weekly and has also volunteered at Ride On. She graduated from high school, something I was told she would not be able to do, and is now a part time student at Ventura College. Her ambition is to work at Disneyland and she is committed to achieving that goal. She is an expert on much of the history of Disneyland and of Walt Disney and independently researches information about his life and parks.

She has a younger sister, also adopted from China, who struggled with attention deficit and hyperactivity. She too has been a student and volunteer at Ride On. It is a great program for the girls to participate in together. The younger sister has learned a lot about responsibility and compassion from her experiences at Ride On and it shows in her progress in academics and with friends. 

It is amazing watching the riders at Ride On. Children with obvious significant disabilities change dramatically around the horses. The instructors are kind and patient and at the same time also push the kids a bit to try harder and show them that they can succeed. The horses also are amazing, and the kids learn to identify the differences among the horses’ personalities and how best to interact with each horse they ride.

I cannot thank the staff, volunteers, and supporters at Ride On enough. They made and continue to make a huge difference in my daughters’ lives. Despite rough beginnings in the world, both have the opportunity and are gaining the skills to live full and productive lives. Ride On has been a significant part of this.

Ruth Arnold



“My daughter has been riding at Ride On for PTSD. She was adopted June of last year and spent over three years in foster care. Her trauma was so significant she couldn't concentrate in school, had emotional outbursts, and was diagnosed with early stages of an eating disorder. Nearing 6 months of riding we have already seen amazing changes in her mood, her academic grades have jumped considerably, and she now has dreams and ambitions to work with horses as her career. Watching her learn to focus on leading the horse has begun to teach her how to take her time and stay focused on a singular task.”

Heather Lee Dixon Dragulescu


“Gavin has been going to Ride On for a little over a year now. At first I thought how can an animal help him, I just didn't understand...

With research and trial we are in love and beyond grateful for what it has done for our family and Gavin. He's learned so very much and it has impacted his physical abilities a ton. We wouldn't change it for the world. Super blessed.”

Jenna White

horse therapy therapeutic horsemanship hippotherapy

 Ride On in Newbury Park - 401 Ronel Court, Newbury Park, CA 91320
 Phone (805) 375-9078 Fax (805) 309-5234 E-Mail Sara@rideon.org
Ride On in Chatsworth
10860 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Chatsworth, CA 91311
Phone (818) 700-2971 Fax (805) 309-5234 E-Mail Sara@rideon.org