Lothlorien Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., a 501 C 3 non-profit organization, was established in 1983 to provide therapeutic riding opportunities for individuals of all ages with cognitive, physical, emotional, and learning disabilities. Lothlorien is accredited by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) and is the longest standing NARHA Premier Accredited Center in Western New York. Programs at Lothlorien are conducted within NARHAs strict safety guidelines, by NARHA certified instructors and trained volunteers dedicated to providing only the highest quality programs for disabled individuals in the Western New York community.
Typically referred by physicians, school, and therapists, our riders come from communities throughout Western New York. During our busiest sessions, more than 90 students ride at Lothlorien a week, with more than 175 unique individuals served over the course of the season. Although our riders have ranged in age from 3 to 82, the majority we serve are children/youth under the age of 18. Clients often participate in our program over the course of several years - - a few of our clients have been with Lothlorien since it opened 27 years ago!
Our facility includes a 16 stall horse barn, indoor arena, outdoor riding ring, several pastures, hay shed, tractor shed, volunteer lounge, office, and equine managers residence. Specially built mounting ramps and a wide variety of adaptive equipment is used to accommodate riders with disabilities.
Therapeutic riding is widely accepted as a useful method of improving the physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being of individuals with a diversity of disabilities; the benefits are as numerous as the types of disabilities and conditions served. The relationship between horse and rider is proven to reduce anxiety, and encourage interaction. The discipline associated with working with horses, along with the social interactions between peers and the sense of accomplishment that results from learning new skills, combine to enhance self-esteem and increase self-sufficiency. Lothlorien instructors provide individualized instruction which focuses on the riders ability rather than disability, and offer an environment where the riders feel a sense of empowerment. Our riders not only gain greater physical, cognitive, psychological and social skills, but also an introduction to a sport with lifelong benefits.
Each year, Lothlorien utilizes the service of more than 150 volunteers in our riding lessons.