Stepping Stones and Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship Partner to Empower Adults with Disabilities

Date posted: September 27, 2018

Stepping Stones and Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship Partner to Empower Adults with Disabilities in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Drew, a participant of Stepping Stones’ Adult Day program, grooms Gavin at CTRH in Milford, Ohio.

Participants of Stepping Stones’ Adult Day Services are enjoying the benefits of an exciting new partnership with Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship.

Together, the two nonprofits launched the “H.O.P.E. (Horses Offer Purpose and Empowerment) for Adults with Disabilities” program. Funded by the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, this innovative program is the first of its kind in the region and introduces the many benefits of caring for and interacting with horses to our participants.

Visits to Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship Empower Adults


Every Wednesday, a group of adults travel from our UCP Campus in Norwood to CTRH’s 19-acre property in Milford. After greeting the familiar faces of their staff and volunteers, the adults engage in the care of three horses: Cheerio, Gavin and Sunny. Through grooming, feeding and exercising the animals, the adults have formed a special bond with the trio of horses and look forward to their weekly visits.

The H.O.P.E. program empowers those accustomed to relying on the support of caregivers to step into the role of being caregivers themselves.

A Sense of Purpose

Over the course of the 8-week pilot session, participants successfully gained confidence, improved social skills and – most importantly – developed a sense of purpose. The routine visits and interaction with the horses became a source of pride and joy. Each week, they returned back to their peers at the UCP Campus excited to share about the experience with smiles on their faces.

In 2019, Stepping Stones will expand the CTRH program to participants at all three of our Adult Day program locations (Batavia, Norwood and Monfort Heights).


Stepping Stones and Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship Partner to Empower Adults with Disabilities in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Stepping Stones and Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship Partner to Empower Adults with Disabilities in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Michael (left) and Bani (right) groom a pony named Cheerio.

Stepping Stones and Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship Partner to Empower Adults with Disabilities in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Bani and Drew make acquaintances with Tater Tot, a miniature horse and new addition to the CTRH stables.

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