Red River Riders (RRR) is a non-profit 501 c(3) organization providing physical and emotional benefits to disabled people through therapeutic horseback riding. Being the only program that offers similar therapeutic horseback riding classes in about a 50 mile radius, RRR provides a valuable service to Shawano, an area that has limited opportunities for this population. RRR offers a safe, healthy, cost-effective activity that improves the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Red River Riders was established in 1985 with 3 riders and one horse. While there was no RRR riding program in 2020 due to the pandemic, in 2019, RRR had 8 horses, 65 riders and is situated on 5 acres of land with an indoor riding arena. Our program consists of three 6-week riding sessions per year. Our herd is made up of quiet, calm, sound horses which are hand picked and given a trial time period before they are used with the riders. In 2019, RRR had 80 volunteers to make sure that the program ran smoothly. Our volunteers (ages 10-83+ yrs.) instruct classes, assist with classes, care for the horses/equipment/farm, serve on the board of directors, fundraise, coordinate classes, and promote RRR.
Our riders consist of a wide range of disabilities and ages (4-70+ yrs.). The benefits of riding vary from rider to rider. Some benefits of therapeutic horseback riding may include improved strength, balance, coordination, problem solving, emotional support, stress reduction and social interaction. The overall outcome of our riders experience at RRR is a fun & safe exercise program where riders & volunteers enjoy sharing an outdoor activity.