NKT, started in 1984, is the only therapeutic horseback riding center for the handicapped in the Quad Cities area. We provide equine assisted therapy, recreation, and competition opportunities to those who have with MS, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, autism, stroke, injury, hearing or sight impairment, mental, learning or behavioral disorders and other disabling conditions.
NKT helps improve quality of life for many, providing introductory horse experiences to over 200, and enrolling over 60 handicapped riders (aged 3 to adult) in continuing classes. We promote a healthy active life style through recreation and competition in a safe and caring environment. NKT promotes cooperative self-help and brings about human and social development. Our handicapped students see proof that life is worth living, regardless of its challenges.
Over 100 volunteers (under a paid Executive Director) perform the many duties to operate the program. NKT is well operated and accredited at the by NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association).
NKT provides much needed support opportunities for caregivers and families to associate and share with others who are dealing with the issues that come with raising a handicapped child. They learn from each other about advances in medicine, new techniques for therapy, financial aid, transportation, etc. This provides relief to the parents, reducing stress, and improving family relations.
The Quad Cities Health Initiative is trying to address the problem of overweight or obese children and adults by encouraging active life styles and recreation. Can you imagine how much more difficult it is to develop an active lifestyle for a handicapped person? NKT's horseback riding is one activity in which even the handicapped can participate to help maintain a healthy weight. Several NKT students have continued riding for over 15 years, well into adulthood.
Partnering with other agencies expands NKT's benefits to others. NKT provides supervised community service work opportunities by coordinating with troubled youth programs (like Summit and Arrowhead Ranch). NKT provides equestrian expertise to help those attending Camp Abe Lincoln, and provides introductory sessions to support other local handicapped agencies and schools such as Skip-A-Long, ARC, Black Hawk Area Education Center, Hand-in-Hand, etc.