The Great Strides Therapeutic Riding Program began in 1994 in Bedford County.
The mission of Great Strides is to provide physical therapy exercises and recreation for riders with physical and/or mental disabilities through horseback riding. Great Strides receives funding from United Way of Bedford County, the Shelbyville Civitan Club, and independent donors. According to Great Strides, “research has shown horseback riding is one of the most beneficial of all forms of therapy for those who are physically, mentally or emotionally challenged.
When riding a horse disabled riders experience a feeling of balance, suppleness, ease confidence and joy. The program operates each year from April through October. A horse show is scheduled in June with advanced ridings participating. Riding sessions are scheduled from April through October starting at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.
Movements of the horses stimulate muscles to build strength, and the relationships with the horses allow opportunities for communication and socialization.
Volunteers and donations are always welcome. The sessions are held at Clearview Horse Farm on Highway 231 South.