The North Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program will expand its indoor program this spring when it opens a Jean and
Ric Edelman Indoor Riding Arena, where they can provide therapeutic riding for many people in need of equestrian therapy.
One mom, Mara Sibley, emphasized the value of the riding program with her son Carson, who looked forward to riding every day every week. “Riding at NVTRP is more than just a lesson in horseback riding. NVTRP helps Carson focus and focus; it provides a feeling of comfort and inclusion; it gives him the opportunity to do what he does with so much confidence and to thrive in such a welcoming environment, ”she said. The indoor riding ring will expand its riding season options.
Omy Emami’s husband was introduced to NVTRP in 2016 through programs provided by the clinics of Ft Belvoir and Wounded Warrior Project. They’ve participated in family events, and now Emami is hoping that with an indoor arena, they can do it all year round. “He won so much during his time at NVTRP that he looked for ways to involve our family,” she said.
Horse therapy also works, said Olivia Taylor, director of the NVTRP program. “The tranquil atmosphere of the farm and the non-judgmental horses create an ideal atmosphere for learning and practicing new skills,” she said, adding that the therapy works in different ways. “Through the riding and riding session goals, our clients are working on increasing strength, balance, motor planning, confidence and emotional regulation,” Taylor said.
In order to meet the growing demand for NVTRP services and provide an enhanced experience for current cyclists, their families and volunteers, they are leading a large-scale capital improvement project that will unlock the full potential of the property. Phase I, including the new lighted outdoor Trefry Riding arena, an expanded parking lot, an accessible Kristen P. Cubbage Memorial playground, and extensive foundation and infrastructure work needed to prepare the site for the indoor arena in ‘horse riding. Cubbage is the late wife of Gary Cubbage, a longtime NVTRP board member and chairman of the construction committee. Gary and Kristen have two daughters, Caroline and Emma; who benefited from the program.
According to NVTRP, the new space will allow current passengers to ride all year round, regardless of the weather, and will also allow services to increase by 60%, hopefully eliminating the typical waiting list of a year.
The North Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program was started in 1980 by a small group of people in Clifton who have seen the dramatic improvements made by students living with special needs in a center-assisted therapy and activity center. horses located nearby. The founders of NVTRP sought advice on starting a therapeutic riding program in the community of Clifton and first obtained permission from the Park Authority to operate in South Run Park.
Money was tight in the early years, but Clifton’s neighbors loaned horses and time, and the program grew over time. Many original volunteers are still involved. Rita Dunn was a driving force behind the early development of NVTRP and she was involved until 2001.
In January 2012, NVTRP purchased Little Full Cry Farm, a 17 acre farm that had a barn fire in 2007, and in 2016 Little Full Cry Farm became O’Shaughnessy Farm in honor of the O’Shaughnessy- Hurst Memorial Foundation, the largest donor to support the purchase of the property for NVTRP.