Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program

Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program was established in the spring of 1983, when the University of Maryland Frederick County Extension Agent asked the Frederick County 4H Horse and Pony Club to establish a therapeutic riding program for Frederick County, Maryland. The program is located at Silverado Farm in Lewistown, Maryland. Paul J. Cramer, head instructor for 13 years, led the way to a safe and fun program for special needs riders. The program has grown from 16 riders in 1984 on Saturdays to 78 riders with classes held on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; from one instructor to 3 instructors, from 1 therapist to many therapists; and from 5 horses to 18 horses and ponies.

In April 1991, the program received its 501c3 nonprofit status from the IRS. It received its GOLD STAR rating from


The Frederick County 4H Therapeutic Riding Program emphasizes the importance of teamwork
along with an individual’s potential, horsemanship, independence and education:

  • We instill a respect between humanity and animals and our interdependence.
  • We welcome our citizens of diverse needs from all races and cultures with an equal and
    safe recreational experience.
  • We encourage family support, community cohesion, and social inclusion as a
    cornerstone for the success of our program.
  • We value and respect our stakeholders: the volunteers, donors, and recipients of our
  • We value the expertise and knowledge of our therapists who share a common goal with
    our organization to promote a bonding and healing experience through equestrian
  • We support the education of our riders by teaching the concepts of horsemanship,
    responsibility of caring for another life, and realizing the rider’s full potential.


Our Mission is to provide Frederick County, Maryland citizens who have medically certified mental, physical and/or emotional disabilities with equestrian activities in order to learn basic horsemanship skills, improve physically with better muscle tone, balance and posture;  We also encourage our riders to improve their emotional well being by building self confidence and self-esteem—the I Can Do It attitude.