A generous $20,000 grant from the Delaware Community Foundation is helping launch a new $1 million project to build a permanent Sussex County home for Southern Delaware Therapeutic Riding.
The new facility, on land being purchased on Robinsonville Road near Lewes, will allow SDTR to serve up to 150 clients each year. The organization plans to relocate there starting in summer 2015.
SDTR is a 25-year-old nonprofit organization providing equine-assisted therapy to promote the physical, emotional and educational growth of children and adults with special needs in southern Delaware. Until now, the organization has leased various riding stables to provide its lessons and services.
The new facility will provide features and components not available at the current (or any leased) facility. These include fully accessible buildings and groundsm an indoor riding ring for use during inclement weather and for clients needing special assistance, wooded riding trails, a building for SDTR offices and caretaker, and a large barn and pasture suitable for up to eight horses.
Having a larger, permanent facility will also enable SDTR to partner more actively with other regional agencies that serve children and adults with disabilities, including a special focus on veterans with disabilities.
A new business plan has been developed, and the SDTR board is working with a fundraising consultant to develop a campaign to be launched this September. Campaign committees are now being formed; anyone interested in participating or supporting the new facility should contact Tom Peet at 302-249-9358.
SDTR is the only center in Sussex and Kent counties certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International. The two PATH-certified instructors and trained volunteers provide individually tailored riding lessons to increase each rider's strength, balance and flexibility, and to improve communication and coping skills.