How does one get into the Program?

Every rider needs to be assessed for the suitability of therapeutic riding and which program best fits their specific needs. Each program has a slightly different referral process and procedure to follow prior to the rider being able to be accepted and registered in a program. Riders are required to pay a rider fee with their registration which helps to cover a portion of the program costs.

Please review our program descriptions for more detailed program info. If you are interested in further details please call 250-338-1968 or email


The Barn Buddies program is a class designed for our youngest riders who are on the autism spectrum. Due to the riders ages, 5-7 years, they are unable to ride consistently for an hour, because of both physical limitations and attention spans. We have designed a program to address this issue by incorporating the care and responsibility of the horse along with a shorter duration ride.

Children with autism face a very unique set of challenges, and our goals are to address and bring awareness of these issues to the child in a safe and inclusive environment. Some of the challenges faced by children on the autism spectrum are a disregard for boundaries, their own and others, a lack of understanding of the dangers of everyday life, and an inability to maintain focus on their present surroundings. By caring for the ponies, the children are given the opportunity to learn and practice these skills in a safe and structured environment, using the animals as bio-feedback for their own emotions and actions.

The Barn Buddies program helps the children to learn and recognize their abilities and challenges. The program provides the tools not only to help with self-regulation, but to stay in the moment and remain present. When the pressures and expectations of social situations and school trigger anxiety and exhaustion, the children are able to use the learned skills. When we help empower our members of society with special needs, we all benefit.


CVTRS offers a variety of therapeutic riding programs for people of all ages with physical, cognitive and behavioral diversabilities.

Through lessons, therapy and trail riding participants gain  a variety of physical benefits as well as psychological, social, educational and recreational benefits. This program is for children and adults who are hearing and visually impaired, accident victims, brain injury, Down syndrome , cerebral palsy, polio, developmentally delayed and many other diversabilities. There are a variety of supports available in the class such as a physiotherapist or occupational therapist, aides, caregivers, and primary caregivers.

Mental Health- The Stable Program

This is an equine experiential learning program for youth 8-18 who have a mental health diagnosis with challenges such as anxiety, emotional regulation, ADHD and many other mental health areas.

In this sometimes non-riding program, the short term goal is to help the participants learn to regulate their emotions in such a way as to create a positive experience with the horse.  The long term goal is to transfer many of their newly acquired strategies and skills to their world outside of the Stable Program. Sessions may include riding and non-riding activities but the emphasis is on relational work with the horses and developing their social and emotional intelligence.

Benefits include improved: social and emotional functioning; confidence and self-esteem; understanding empathy and boundaries, coping strategies and skills to manage their area of challenge and much more. The unique characteristics of horses allow them a special role in this experiential learning program. They are non-judgmental and non-biased, they provide instant feedback and mirroring, and the lessons we learn from them can be a metaphor for life situations. Taught by a CanTRA instructor and facilitated by an Equine Experiential Learning Professional the classes are once a week for 1 ½ typically in groups of four.

VAULTING PROGRAM – “The Valley Vaulters”

A fully integrated program for children and youth where riders are introduced to the horse and the vaulting sport in a safe, fun and welcoming environment. The goals of the program are to develop the social, emotional, physical and behavioural development of the individual vaulter. The sport helps develop balance, confidence and harmony with the horse for any riding discipline.

CVTRS Day 4-381What is vaulting? According to Vault BC, “Vaulting is the performance of gymnastic and dance-like movements to music on a moving horse.  …  Vaulters begin working in walk and progress, with training from a qualified instructor, to be able to perform more complex movements at trot and canter. Vaulters learn to have the agility and athleticism of gymnasts, the grace and expression of dancers and the balance and feel of equestrians.”

No prior experience is required and participants will progress at their own pace. Vaulting is a fun way for children to develop skills in teamwork, make new friends and it’s an affordable way to become involved with horCVTRS Day 4-276-Editses.