Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program

Changing lives one stride at a time

aka EQUI-KIDS   |   VIRGINIA BEACH, VA   |  www.equikids.org

Mission

EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program was founded in 1989 to provide, promote and support equine assisted activities for individuals who have mental, physical, emotional, social or learning disabling conditions.

Ruling year info

1994

Executive Director

Mrs. Beth Yurkovac-Hornby

Main address

2626 Heritage Park Drive

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 23456 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

54-1693046

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

IRS filing requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2020, 2019 and 2018.
Register now

Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

This profile needs more info.

If it is your nonprofit, add a problem overview.

Login and update

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 Horseback Riding

Therapeutic riding is horseback riding for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with disabilities through the teaching of horsemanship skills. It offers physical benefits such as muscle strengthening, increased flexibility, development of balance, improved coordination, increased breathing and circulation, boosted self-confidence, improved self-esteem and increased fine motor skills.

The horse provides the rider with a feeling of freedom and independence that may be limited in their everyday life. As a result, these skills can assist in improving the quality of life of our riders.

Obtaining job skills creates a pathway for professional development, an area that many disabled and disconnected individuals struggle to overcome. Through improvements in self-esteem and self-confidence, riders often find progression in their ability to communicate with others, ultimately resulting in the furtherance of relationships, both professional and personal.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Veterans

Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an interactive process combining the use of an EAP trained horse, a trained mental health professional and an appropriately credentialed equine professional to address psychotherapy goals set forth by the mental health professional and the client.

Because of the horse’s prey nature and intense sensitivity to subtle changes in their environment, they are the perfect partners for professionals who teach a wide range of life and coping skills.

The concept that horses might be helpful or healing to those struggling with mental health issues is based on the idea that horses are extremely sensitive to changes in a person. Because of this, horses react and respond to people differently based upon the person’s emotional state.

The horse acts as a large biofeedback machine, providing the client and therapist with information regarding the client’s mood and changes within those moods. If a client arrives anxious, the horse will act and respond one way. If the client is able to reduce his or her anxiety, the horse’s behaviors will also change, providing a plethora of information and skill building opportunities for both the client and therapist.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Veterans

Hippotherapy is a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which the therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. It is used as a means to help participants improve coordination, balance and strength. Hippotherapy has been used to treat patients with neurological or other disabilities, such as autism, cerebral palsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, head injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, behavioral disorders and psychiatric disorders.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Veterans

Launched in 2010, EQUI-KIDS’ affiliate program, EQUI-VETS offers physical and mental healing through equine activities for armed service members wounded in the line of duty. Offering therapeutic horseback riding, horse care activities and outdoor experiences, this program is offered to active duty and retired veterans at no cost in honor of their dedicated service to our country. Interacting with the horse strengthens emotional bonds and builds trust and confidence with each session. The goal of the program is to assist in physical and mental healing through equine activities to help our heroes reconnect to their families and their lives.

The EQUI-VETS Service Program offers the support of fellow military personnel to assist with the therapeutic riding session. For those participants who do not wish to ride, many join our volunteer ranks to lend a hand on the farm.

The Virginia Beach/Hampton Roads area is home to the largest military population in the U.S. and is comprised of 10 active military installations. As of late 2018, the area hosts over 97,000 active duty service members and, combined with their family members, makes up 12.9% of the local population. An additional 13.5% is represented by veterans, constituting more than double the national average of 6.2%.

Returning veterans often struggle as a result of their military experience. The wounded warriors served by EQUI-VETS commonly face issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression, anxiety and other chronic mental illnesses. Approximately 18% of American veterans struggle with PTSD. Left untreated, the disorder can have deadly consequences. Veteran suicides are currently happening at a rate of 22 per day, a startling and heartbreaking statistic. These conditions make it extremely difficult for them to readjust to normal, daily life.The EQUI-VETS Service Program offers the support of fellow military personnel to assist with the therapeutic riding session, and for those participants who do not wish to ride, many join our volunteer ranks to lend a hand on the farm.

Some traditional therapies are ineffective in healing those suffering from these conditions and those in the medical community are turning to alternative therapies as a result.

A recent study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) determining the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on PTSD in military veterans showed a statistically significant decrease following three weeks of therapy and again at six weeks. The NIH found that logistic regression showed that participants had a 66.7% likelihood of having lower PTSD scores at 3 weeks and 87.5% likelihood at six weeks.

Our current program is able to provide services to a growing but limited number of veterans per year with a community need and expressed interest in participation far exceeding our ability to serve. Approximately 75% of those served by the EQUI-VETS program are transitioning veterans. We have a current waitlist of several dozen individuals and two local veterans organizations who qualify for assistance through our program. As a thank-you to the members of our armed services for their selflessness and sacrifice, our EQUI-VETS program is offered at no cost to participants.

Population(s) Served
Veterans

EQUI-KIDS partners with Virginia Beach City Public Schools through our School Partnership Program (SPP) allowing our instructors to collaborate with special needs teachers to enforce classroom curriculum goals. Special needs classrooms from local elementary, middle, or high schools (on a rotating basis) spend one morning a week at our facility in a hands-on learning environment. Participants receive therapeutic horseback riding lessons, do ground work in the barn, grooming and caring for the horses, and spend time in our classroom helping tie their farm-based experiences and concepts to their traditional classroom curriculum.

The primary goal of the SPP is to enhance students’ education and life skills through the use of horses and our farm while exposing children to an alternative learning environment. It is a unique program to which many of the students may not otherwise have exposure.

The resulting improvements in behavior and relationship management are almost immediate. Students learn a functional curriculum and, more specifically, work experience skills. We see vast improvements in social skills and academic skills within the classroom. Due to the positive aspects of sensory integration directly related to therapeutic riding, more learning can happen in the traditional classroom. This special education program reinforces the public education program for everything from life skills to academics.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

EQUI-KIDS is proud to partner with Virginia Beach City Public Schools Office of Exceptional Children, through their work experience program. Through this program, a certified EQUI-KIDS instructor provides job coaching, in partnership with the school, to disabled young adults. The goal of this program is to help them acquire life skills and receive hands-on training for social and task-related skills needed to prepare them for entering the workplace, once they have aged-out of the public school system. Students participate in approximately 100 hours of onsite work experience coaching over the course of one academic school year.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Where we work

Awards

Premier Accredited Therapeutic Riding Program 2013

PATH, Intl.

Affiliations & memberships

AHA, Inc - American Hippotherapy Association 2014

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Financials

Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program
lock

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.

Subscribe

Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.

Operations

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

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

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

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program

Board of directors
as of 1/30/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Michael Borza

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Term: 2017 - 2020

Vic Philleo

Waterfront Advisory Group of Raymond James

Kim Leovich

Compton Wealth Advisory Group

Jim Arnhold

Home Associates of Virginia

Kevin Stevenson

PRA Group

Randolph Hoover

Xylem Tree Experts

Chuck Pearson

TowneBank Mortgage

Cheralyn Whetstone

Keene Woods Realty

Dabney Napolitano

Equestrian and Riding Instructor

Blake White

Endurance IT

Frank Rice

Kelley Bashara

Capital Group

David Etsy

Solvere Technical Group/Sunstone Technical Solutions

Robyn Jarrett

Tidewater Equestrian Trails

Aaron Lawyer

Atlantic Heating and Cooling

Brooks Lively

Eastern Virginia Medical School

Jeff Richardson

Beach Commercial Finance

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 1/30/2022,

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

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/30/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.