Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center

“Changing Lives Through The Healing Power of Horses”

aka RTT; Riding To The Top   |   Windham, ME   |  www.ridingtothetop.org

Mission

Enhancing health and wellness through equine assisted services.

Ruling year info

1994

Executive Director

Sarah Bronson

Main address

14 Lilac Dr.

Windham, ME 04062 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

01-0482069

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Riding To The Top seeks to improve the health and wellness of everyone involved in our organization through equine assisted activities and therapies. We provide services to children and adults with disabilities ranging in age from 3 to 90+ and with mild to severe disabilities. We have instructors who are credentialed through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl), specially trained volunteers and an amazing herd of horses and ponies.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Therapeutic Riding

RTT serves riders with a wide variety of disabilities ranging from severe physical and/or cognitive disabilities, youth with learning disabilities, and youth "at risk". The majority of our clients (65%) are children. Clients come to us from local special education or guidance programs, through referrals from physicians, therapists, family and other service programs.

The motions of a horse closely match that of human walking and as such they are perfect for facilitating postural control for people who have physical disabilities. Riding has been shown to reduce abnormal muscle tone (spasticity) and improve balance and coordination. For individuals with emotional, behavioral and/or learning disabilities, the structure of riding and the personal relationships that develop (people to people and people to horse), help to foster improved self-esteem, trust and self-confidence.

Over 60% of our clients qualify for financial assistance for services.

Population(s) Served
People with physical disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities

Equine Assisted Learning is a form of experiential learning working with horses. RTT's program incorporates unmounted and mounted work and focuses on development of important life skills such as trust, respect, communication, etc

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Low-income people

Physical Therapy utilizing the movement of the horse to functional goals

Population(s) Served
People with physical disabilities
Infants and toddlers

Therapeutic Carriage Driving provides an alternative for people with disabilities who either are unable to ride either due to physical limitations, weight or fear. Carriage driving requires balance and control while seated in a carriage and has many of the same benefits as Therapeutic Riding such as improving core strength, balance, coordination, etc.

Population(s) Served
People with psychosocial disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities

Where we work

Accreditations

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association - Accreditation 2001

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association - Accreditation 2006

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association - Accreditation 2011

Awards

NARHA Instructor of the Year--Nancy Hohmann 2009

North American Riding For The Handicapped Association

PATH Int'l Region Professional of the Year--Kate Davis McKelvy 2013

PATH International

Affiliations & memberships

North American Riding for the Handicapped Association 1993

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2010

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2011

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2012

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2013

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2014

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2015

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2016

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2017

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2018

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2019

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2020

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of clients served

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

COVID-19 closure and limited opening March-Dec 2020.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

COVID-19 closure and limited opening March-December 2020 resulted in fewer volunteers at farm.

Number of training events conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Hours of volunteer service

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

COVID-19 closure and limited opening reduced hours volunteered in 2020

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Client-Centered Programs: Provide high quality and dynamic services to a broad range of clients in our community.
Caring for our Horses: Provide superior care to our horses through top quality nutrition, training, handling and herd management.
Financial Sustainability: Develop balanced, expanded and diverse revenue streams to support RTT’s mission.
Sharing our Story: Promote visibility and awareness of RTT’s impact, programs, and services.
Supporting our Team: Provide a positive, caring and respectful environment that promotes life-long learning and professional growth.
Stewardship of our Farm: Plan, develop and utilize RTT’s property in a fiscally prudent and environmentally sensitive manner.

To provide our community the depth and range of services they need through professional staff, highly trained volunteers and specially selected horses. This will be achieved through investment in the professional development of our staff and volunteers, offering competitive pay and benefits to paid staff, and development of our horses through their overall care (feed and nutrition, health care and training).

To foster research and education to advance the knowledge and understanding of EAAT. In 2020, Riding To The Top will we one of two sites nationally participating in a five year, $2.5 million dollar NIH funded research study on the physiological effects of therapeutic riding on children with autism. This ground breaking research will add important knowledge and understanding to the existing body of research on Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies.

To ensure organizational health and sustainability through mission driven and financially viable programming supported by donor development/stewardship and strong marketing and communications within our community. In 2020, RTT will be launching a new website and will be working extensively with individual donors, foundations and corporations to grow our financial base, including exploring the appetite for a capital campaign for facility expansion.

Riding To The Top has a 27 year history of responding to community needs and engaging different segments of the community through program development and expansion. We have grown from a small all-volunteer run organization to a nationally recognized organization (with a small paid staff and and a large regiment of unpaid, dedicated volunteers) and a budget of over $600,000. We are Maine's only year-round PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) Premier Accredited Center solely dedicated to serving people with disabilities. Our participation in a nationally recognized, and NIH funded research project is a testament to our professional staff and high quality programming. We have strong leadership from our Board and long standing and dedicated staff who are committed to the organization's goals.

Since our beginning, 27 years ago, we have helped transform the lives of thousands of clients (and volunteers) through the healing power of horses. RTT has been a PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) Premier Accredited center for 20 years and we are Maine’s only year round PATH Intl. Accredited center solely dedicated to serving people with disabilities.

Riding To The Top is an inclusive community where people of all abilities are challenged with positive learning experiences through equine-assisted activities and therapies. RTT is a safe, supportive environment that fosters respect, innovation and diversity.

Since 1993, when we helped a dozen riders on a few rented horses at a leased barn, to today where we assist hundreds of clients year-round at our own accessible 50 acre farm, compassionate and generous giving has made the difference. Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center (RTT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) to children and adults with a wide range of physical, cognitive, and emotional disabilities in a nurturing environment. RTT has an outstanding professional staff, a herd of hard working horses, and an army of committed volunteers who collectively contribute more than 11,000 hours of volunteer service annually. Currently up to 100 riders a week from 45 different towns across southern and mid-coast Maine, and eastern New Hampshire. Riders participate through school based programs, or individually, as a result of referral from doctors, educators, and social service providers.

In 1998, RTT raised $1.6 million dollars to build a year-round, fully accessible facility to meet the needs of our community. This facility has served us incredibly well, but 12 years later, we are once again looking at the possibility of facility expansion to better meet the needs of demand for our programming.

Financials

Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center

Board of directors
as of 2/16/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Casey Etter Bobb

Janis Childs

University of Southern Maine

Carissa Robb

Constant Energy Capital Management

Casey Etter Bobb

IDEXX

Brandon Cohen

Head Light Benefit Group

Lindsey Lombardo

Norway Savings Bank

Tim Graham

Modern Woodmen of America

Shelby Poduch

IDEXX

Marisa Rossi

IDEXX

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 02/16/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data