• River Valley Riders

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    Advocacy and NonProfit Organizations

    About Us

    Our mission is to enrich the lives of children and adults with special needs by providing equine-assisted services. We offer therapeutic horseback riding and carriage driving lessons in Afton, Minnesota. River Valley Riders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

    River Valley Riders creates a supportive environment where individuals with special needs connect with horses by participating in activities that are adapted to their physical, social and learning challenges.

    These services benefit a wide range of participants including people with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental delay and many other types of disabilities.

    In their own words, the families of our participants describe the benefits their children have experienced:
    ''Increased self-esteem, bond with animals and ability to calm himself.''
    ''Feels more confident, more willing to try other things.''
    ''It has helped increase communication skills. He gets excited to talk about riding to others.''

    Our lessons are open to students in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and western Wisconsin and take place from mid-April through early-November. We are proud to say that our services are possible with the help of over 200 caring volunteers who dedicate over 9,500 hours annually! As a team, we work together to enhance the participant’s physical, cognitive and emotional health while building a community of structure and support.


    Trotting bring smiles of joy!
    Lessons in the arena for building skills!
    Trail rides to enjoy nature!
    Carriage driving through wooded trails!
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