Therapeutic Riding

Who We Serve

Our Therapeutic Riding program is designed for individuals aged 3 & up with physical and / or cognitive special needs, including (but not limited to) those with autism, ADHD, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, visual impairments or hearing impairments.

Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

  • Development of muscle strength and flexibility.
  • Improvement of balance and coordination.
  • Mobilization of trunk and pelvis.
  • Improved learning skills and concentration.
  • Access to social integration.
  • A sense of achievement and independence.
  • Increased self-esteem and self-confidence.

Admission Procedures

The following forms must be completed and submitted to Sunrise by mail, fax, e-mail or dropped off in person. Please contact Camilla Giffen, Head Instructor with any questions regarding the admission procedure (contact information below).

Please note: All contraindications to riding are listed on the first pages of the Physician Referral form. Please look over the contraindications carefully before completing the forms.

Once the forms are fully completed and returned to Sunrise, we will contact you to set up an assessment with our Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and/or Speech and Language Pathologist to ensure the suitability of the program for each individual. The needs of the prospective rider will determine which consultant is present at the assessment. The assessment takes approximately 1 hour and involves a discussion regarding goals, history, abilities and needs, followed by a 15-20 minute mounted assessment for the prospective rider.

The cost is $50.00, payable at the time of the appointment.

Using the information from the assessment, and the rider’s availability, we will do our best to place the rider into an appropriate lesson.

Sunrise has an ongoing wait list so the assessment appointment could take a few months. Riding spaces are also limited, especially at popular times such as Saturdays and weekday evenings.

Lesson Schedule

Sunrise offers two sessions per year:  Fall (Sept. to Dec.) and Winter/Spring (Jan. to June). Lessons run weekly for 30-60 minutes depending on the number of riders in the lesson. There are scheduled Break Weeks throughout the year during which time there are no classes.


Camilla Giffen
Ph. (519) 837-0558 x29
Fax: (519) 837 -1233
Email: [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

Both Riding Club and Therapeutic Riding Lessons at Sunrise cost $45 for a one hour group lesson, a 45 minute semi-private or 30 minute private. Participants must register for a term, which typically run 8-12 weeks in length.

Individuals with special needs must complete a Rider package, which contains a Physician Referral & Individual Profile, a Release and Indemnity, a Photo Release, and a Degree of Bodily Contact Form. Contact Sunrise to receive a package mailed to you if you cannot print these forms.
Once the completed paper work is received, an assessment visit will be arranged at Sunrise with the head instructor and one of our medical consultants.
Acceptance into the program will be decided based on the outcome of all of the above.

Yes, we have “Riding Club” for experienced riders ages 8 years and up. This is an integrated program – participants must be able to ride independently (without volunteer assistance), and some riders with special needs join “Riding Club” once they have achieved this goal.

Certainly, we have many adult riders with special needs.

Yes, during July and August Sunrise offers integrated summer day camps: Riding Camp and Farm Discovery Camp. For more information on our various camp programs check out our camps page by clicking here.

Riding Instructors at Sunrise are certified with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association and/or with Equine Canada.
Client goals are set with input from a consultant Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and/or Speech and Language Pathologist.
Staff and Instructors attend clinics, workshops and seminars frequently to remain current in their field of expertise.
All staff have current First Aid and CPR.
Safety of riders, volunteers and horses is of utmost concern at Sunrise. Riders must wear ASTM approved helmets (provided by Sunrise) and proper footwear (sturdy shoes or boots with a separate heel). Adaptive stirrups are available if rider cannot wear an appropriate shoe or boot.

The Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) is the only governing body of therapeutic riding in Canada. CanTRA member centres are inspected regularly to ensure a high level of safety standards. CanTRA member centres purchase liability insurance through CanTRA to provide adequate coverage and ensure national standards of safety. Sunrise must pay a fee per rider to cover the cost of the insurance. CanTRA offers a national certification program for therapeutic riding instructors as follows:

Canadian Therapeutic Riding Basic Instructor (CTRBI)
Canadian Therapeutic Riding Intermediate Instructor (CTRII)
Canadian Therapeutic Riding Senior Instructor (CTRSI)
Canadian Therapeutic Riding Coach (CTRC)
For more information about CanTRA, please visit them at

By collecting a membership fee, Sunrise is able to designate some of those funds to cover CanTRA insurance fees and CanTRA membership fee.

Sunrise has a “Scholarship Fund” for riders with special needs for financially-marginalized. For more information about our scholarship fund please click here.

layla - TR page
Nick and Luke corrected


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

For the safety and enjoyment of all our participants, please note that Sunrise Farm is a smoke, alcohol and drug-free environment.
In fairness to the animals that work in the Sunrise program, no dogs or other pets are allowed on the premises, unless scheduled by the staff for specific events.
© 2024 Sunrise Therapeutic Riding & Learning Centre Inc. Registered Charity: # 11920 6027 RR0001

Web Solutions by Think Shovels

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?