Innovative Therapeutic Riding Program – Changing Lives One Ride at a Time
It all started in 2011 with the goal to help people of all ages with special needs and/or disabilities. The founders of the Innovative Therapeutic Riding Program (ITRP) both had children with special needs and wanted to find a way to help them feel happy and a part of something. “On the horse, they could. No one knew their struggles. The horse was their foundation and safe place,” says Tammy Voda, current President of ITRP. “Our purpose is to help; our mission to provide individuals with special needs a safe environment where they can achieve their dreams.... one ride at a time.”
ITRP is a nonprofit organization which utilizes horses as tools for therapy. They encourage all who are physically, mentally, or emotionally challenged to reach their highest potential.
Equine therapy is not therapy itself, but participants find it particularly therapeutic to handle and work with the horses. Therapeutic horsemanship can build fine and gross motor skills and psychosocial skills. The warmhearted staff and volunteers at ITRP work hard to help people with varying abilities and are proud to offer a certified program through PATH-I (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International). Safety is a top priority and the horses are very docile and patient. Students enrolled in the program can expect to receive specialized lessons and practice confidence, communication skills, focus, accountability, teamwork, and horsemanship.
For any interested in being involved in ITRP’s mission, there are opportunities to volunteer, donate, or sponsor one of the nine horses. Volunteers always speak of how rewarding it is to assist riders and help care for the horses.
The horses and team members at ITRP have touched the lives of many. Both children and adults with a variety of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, down syndrome, autism, depression, ADHD, or paralysis, have accomplished much through the program. Tammy explains, “I enjoy watching clients young and old begin to do things they once thought impossible.”
More impactful than what is physically achieved, therapeutic horsemanship helps those with special needs feel positive and happy. The hard-working team members at ITRP are making a difference in our state, transforming time spent in the saddle into something truly magical.♦
Innovative Therapeutic Riding Program
7055 West 33rd South, Idaho Falls ID, 83402
Schaefer Livestock dba Box T Barn and Stables
(208) 569-4809 KayLynn Cordingley
(208) 351-9463 Val Seeley