What Is The MVSRA?
Mount View Special Riding Association is an Accredited Therapeutic Riding Centre with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CANTRA) - www.cantra.ca). It is a recognized charitable organization formed in 1983 to provide a therapeutic and recreational riding program for children and adults with physical and intellectual development disorders. It is completely run by volunteers.
Historically, wounded Greek soldiers utilized horseback riding as a form of rehabilitation. The horse provides a unique stimulus to therapy. No longer is the patient dealing with cold impersonal equipment but a living, breathing being.
In the last forty years, therapeutic riding has been recognized by many professionals - doctors, therapists, and educators - as a beneficial form of therapy. It has been proven that riding benefits people with disabilities in many ways.
The warmth and motion of the horse, and the exercise the rider receives improves balance and coordination, increases circulation, speeds reflexes, reduces spasticity and strengthens muscles.
Presenting the people with disabilities with a new and exciting challenge - to be in control of a horse - gives great motivation to try, and to succeed. This results in increased self confidence in all areas of life.
The unique relationship between rider and horse is only one of the social benefits. Involving disabled riders with able-bodied volunteers develops social skills necessary in everyday life. Friendship, trust and respect for everyone's abilities are a strong tie.
The Mount View Special Riding Association was formed in 1983 by dedicated volunteers. Starting out with six volunteer horses and 20 riders, the numbers have continued to grow.
Riding lessons are held at the Caluori Pavilion in Olds, Alberta, thanks to the support of the Olds Regional Exhibition - twice a week in the Spring and Fall.
Riders are taught by knowledgeable riding instructors and receive support (both physical and psychological) from trained volunteers. Safety is a top priority, but so is fun.
Who Is Helped?
The disabilites that are helped by horseback riding are many. For example:
Intellectual and/or Developmental Delay
How To Get Involved
RIDER: Registration forms can be obtained by visiting the website. All ages are accepted. The applicant's doctor is required to fill in a medical questionnaire.
MEMBER: Non-Voting memberships are $5.00 annually. Voting Membership are $10.00 annually. This helps to cover insurance fees. As well, members receive a newsletter.
VOLUNTEER: Volunteers are the lifeblood of the MVSRA. They help out at lessons by leading horses, side-walking with riders, providing horses, grooming horses and getting riders ready. And that's just for lessons! They also organize and volunteer at fundraisers and the Spring and Fall Wrap Up nights.
DONOR: Donations are always welcomed to help us carry on the riding program. Some of the areas that donations are used for:
instructor training and volunteer training
special riding equipment
special projects ex. CANTRA clinics / Wrap Up nights