Therapy disguised as fun. 

Ride with CART

CART serves children and adults with a range of special needs including autism, cerebral palsy, spinal cord/brain injuries, ADD/ADHD, stroke, cognitive defects, muscular dystrophy, amputations, spina bifida, learning disabilities, hearing/speech/visual impairments, and many other emotional and physical disorders.

Benefits of therapeutic horseback riding

Working with horses contributes to riders’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and social well-being.  Riding a horse transmits the same motion to the hips that we use when walking, stimulating the same nerves and muscles.  This, in turn, promotes core strength, posture, balance, coordination, and flexibility.  Horses are large, sometimes intimidating animals that are sensitive to human emotions and respond to both verbal and non-verbal communication.  These qualities challenge riders to overcome issues of fear, self-confidence, trust, honesty, and patience.  Riders develop a relationship with their horse and volunteers, and in the process learn important lessons about responsibility, respect for others, accountability, and communication.  All of this while having fun!


Lessons at CART

Three 8-week sessions are conducted during the year:  spring, summer, and fall.  Weekly therapeutic riding lessons are given by a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certified instructor.  One to three volunteers are paired with each rider (as needed), with four to five riders participating in each class.  Lessons last about one hour.  CART accepts riders age 4 and up.  The cost of one 8-week session is $240.  However, CART is committed to providing service to riders who need it.  Please contact us about options for scholarships if finances are a concern.  Please see our Events Calendar for updated lesson information, or contact us if you have questions or are interested in signing-up.

The CART barn is located in Crozet, Virginia, about 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville.  If you’d like to schedule a visit please call 434-823-1178 so that we can make sure someone is at the barn to meet you.

Click the video below to watch "Walk On" a short documentary film by Kristin Twiford featuring the students, families, instructors and volunteers at CART!