PLATINUM2024

Riding with HEART

Pittstown, NJ   |  www.ridingwithheart.org

Mission

The mission of Riding with HEART is to improve the quality of life of physically and cognitively challenged adults, children, and their families and to provide youth development through our diverse equine assisted programs

Ruling year info

2006

President- Board of Trustees

Catherine Gibson

Main address

639 CR 513

Pittstown, NJ 08867 USA

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Formerly known as

Dreams Come True Therapeutic Riding

EIN

57-1233216

NTEE code info

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

Youth Development Programs (O50)

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

According to the 2020 US Census, individuals in Hunterdon, Mercer, and Warren Counties have disabilities. These numbers reflect the scope of the problem. Individuals with Disabilities in Hunterdon County 5% of 129,349 = 6,467 people Individuals with Disabilities in Mercer County 6.5% of 387,340 = 25,177 people Individuals with Disabilities in Warren County 8.5% of 108,692 8.5% = 9,238 people In just three New Jersey counties, almost 41,000 people have a disability. The challenge has been identifying the "niche" population of participants through channels where services are provided to them Riding with HEART aims to address this problem by making the Riding with HEART Program easier to find with community outreach, interaction with health care providers, advertising, adding additional equine-assisted services, and expanding the number of PATH certified, and professionally credentialed instructors and therapists on staff.

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?

Adaptive Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Activities

THERAPEUTIC HORSEBACK RIDING - Therapeutic horseback riding partners the horse, participant, and instructor to provide physical, cognitive, and emotional therapies.

EQUINE-ASSISTED LEARNING ACTIVITIES - These activities can be mounted and/or unmounted, and provide benefits that are significant and long-lasting.
Veteran and First Responder Programs
Services for low-income children and families
Hippotherapy (equine OT)
Equine facilitated mental health sessions
Summer activities
Equine education for special needs schools and organizations
At-risk youth programs
Enrichment education

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Adults
Children and youth
Families

Occupational therapy conducted by a licensed Occupational Therapist that utilizes the multi-dimensional movement of the horse to enhance the therapy goals.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
People with physical disabilities

EAL is an educational approach to equine assisted activities. EAL content is developed and organizes by credentialed practitioners with the primary intent to facilitate personal growth and development of life skills through equine activities.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Military personnel

Children on the Autism Spectrum work with horses and in the barn to learn and practice social skills in a unique and fun setting.

Population(s) Served
At-risk youth
Adolescents

Riding with HEART offers unique and inclusive horseback riding camps in the summer. Each day includes a riding lesson, horsemanship skills and education, arts & crafts, games and more.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Inclusive Summer Camp for children ages 5-16

Population(s) Served
Children and youth
Families

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

BRAVEHEART PROGRAM - Military Veterans & First Responder Personnel 2017

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 therapy hours provided to clients

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Adaptive Therapeutic Riding and Equine Assisted Activities

Type of Metric

Other - describing something else

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Based on the low numbers due to the 2020 COVID pandemic, we consider the increase from 350 hours to 590 hours significant growth.

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.

The mission of Riding with HEART is to improve the quality of life of physically and cognitively challenged adults, children, and their families, and to provide youth development through our diverse equine-assisted programs.

By following the above Riding with HEART's Mission Statement, we will continue to serve every individual within our community who could benefit from our services. Our goal is to identify and reach out to a larger population of individuals who would benefit from our program.

By offering a wide range of equine-assisted activities, individuals and their families have a calm, therapeutic environment to safely partner with horses, compassionate instructors, and equine specialists. By growing and expanding our equine-assisted services, Riding with HEART will increase the quality of life for even more participants.

As the community's needs evolve, Riding with HEART's key strategy is to grow and expand the program offerings to meet these needs. Equine-assisted activities can be customized to address the specific goals of the participant or group more

In addition, Riding with HEART is actively expanding our herd of therapeutic horses so the disposition, size, age, and particular skills of each horse can be of the most therapeutic value to each participant.

Within the next three years, a covered round pen is going to be built so lessons will be available no matter the weather. The size and shape of a round pen are particularly suited to participants with sensory issues. A second riding ring allows us to teach multiple lessons without having too many riders in a single arena. Fewer participants alleviate the stress of multiple riders, volunteers, horses, and instructors in a single time slot.

Another goal for 2021, is to hire two additional instructors. A Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor can teach at least four sessions per day. With a larger pool of instructors, the Riding with HEART Program could increase just the therapeutic riding component of the program by approximately 30 percent.

Lastly, the budget for professional development has increased. Highly qualified, knowledgeable instructors, and dedicated volunteers are the backbone of an equine-assisted therapeutic program.

Riding with HEART is capable of meeting its goals by:

Having multiple PATH* Certified Therapeutic Instructors and Equine Specialists on staff
Requiring instructors to attend training, workshops, and clinics throughout the year
Offering Hippotherapy by a licensed and credentialed Occupational Therapist
Having a healthy herd of safe, well-trained therapy horses
Maintaining a pool of dedicated, educated, and safety-conscious volunteers
Allowing for physical program growth with 30 acres of Green Acres Preserved Farmland that has a 30 stall barn
Backing by a mission-driven Board of Directors
Seeking financial support from individuals, corporations, and foundations
Working closely with the local community through education, services, and communication
Partnering with local organizations to foster mutually beneficial activities
Keeping the Premier Accreditation status through PATH* International

*Riding with HEART is a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) Premier Accredited Center. PATH International is regarded worldwide as an exceptional organization for accrediting therapeutic riding centers and certifying instructors and equine specialists.

Riding with HEART has added more specialized programs increasing the number of participants we are able to serve. Since 2019, programs that are new or have experienced significant growth include:

At-risk youth sessions, children from underserved communities, and families navigating the foster care system just to name a few. In addition, we are training instructors in the Horse Powered Reading program as well as Social Skills sessions for autistic children.

The existing office was split to create a classroom for equine-assisted learning.

A new program has begun for veterans and first responders called BraveHEARTs. This program is provided at zero cost to participants. This includes a summer BraveHEARTS camp.

Goals for the next two years are to add programs for large groups from schools and organizations that are populated by special needs students and underprivileged families.

We are actively recruiting a credentialed Hippotherapist (OT) and a licensed therapist to provide equine-facilitated psychotherapy.

A covered round pen for riding and horsemanship sessions is in the beginning stages. This structure will provide a suitable place to teach riders, hold ground sessions, and will serve as a quiet, private location for equine-facilitated psychotherapy following HIPPA guidelines.

Finally, an obstacle course is in the process of construction for both ground and mounted confidence-building sessions.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

Riding with HEART
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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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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.

Riding with HEART

Board of directors
as of 02/20/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Catherine Gibson

BT Americas

Catherine Gibson

Bank Americas

Richard Defuccio

Marquis Wealth Management

Suzanne Smith, DVM

Spring Mills Veterniary Hospital

Scott Parsons

Partner, O'Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble

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 3/20/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/20/2023

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

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.