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Frederick County 4-H Therapeutic Riding Prog.
11515 Angleberger Road
Thurmont, MD 21788
Comments/Questions Contact:
Telephone: 301-898-3587
Webmaster: webmaster@fc4htrp.org



MISSION STATEMENT - The Mission of the Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program is to provide a recreational experience and therapeutic regimen to Frederick County citizens with medically certified mental, physical and emotional disabilities, through appropriate equestrian activities.


The Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program was established in 1984 to provide a safe and positive horseback riding experience for disabled citizens of the county. As a non-profit organization, we rely on a strong and committed group of professionals and volunteers to keep us going. Referrals from rider's families as well as the medical, teaching and social service professionals of the county keep us growing. The constant additions to our waiting list attest to our reputation as a reliable and respected organization.

Presently, we are able to provide 7 week sessions, free of charge, in the spring and the fall to our riders. Riders join us once a week for a 45 minute ride during these sessions. Our riders participate in a horse show at the end of both sessions. Other rider activities off the premises include a show at the Frederick Fairgrounds during the Great Frederick Fair and participation in Special Olympics. Donations and fund raising activities fund our program, provide equipment, feed and veterinary care, among other needs. For all of our activities we rely heavily on our volunteers, who receive training before joining us.


Our goal is to provide a safe and enjoyable riding experience that challenges our riders to be as independent as possible. The rider's physician, therapist and teacher submit information about the prospective rider's condition before he or she even approaches a horse. The rider's medical history is reviewed by our therapists and instructors. Some riders come to us with a need for complete physical support throughout the experience, others participate in grooming, tacking up and leading their own horses. Many learn to walk and trot their horses independently.


All of our riders benefit from the interaction with their mount, other riders and our volunteers. Under the direction of the instructor and the aid of the therapist, they take on the challenges of balancing on the horse, learning to steer, control and interact with a large animal specially chosen for this work. They play games and engage in therapeutic exercises. As the rider moves through a session, aided by side walkers and horse leaders, they all benefit from the movement of the horse, which both strengthens and relaxes muscles.


Therapeutic riders have the unique opportunity to engage in an activity that takes them from wheelchairs, canes, and dependency on others to a seat high above the ground where they feel they are in charge. As we guide them through their sessions, we have the pleasure of watching them enjoy a special experience that benefits them both in body and in mind.


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