It was a sunny, warm afternoon on March 30, 2019 when over 100 supporters gathered to witness and celebrate the rebranding of Talbot Special Riders to Positive Strides, a Therapeutic Riding Center.
In October 2018, the board of directors voted unanimously to change the organization’s name to better reflect who they are and how they benefit their riders. “We’ve spent the last several months strategizing, planning and working towards this day,” said Kim Hopkins, executive director of Positive Strides.
“We celebrated the day with our volunteers, donors, corporate sponsors, clients, caregivers, community partners, and local and state leaders,” said Hopkins. “Their support has allowed us to provide life-changing therapies to residents of the Eastern Shore with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges.“ Dignitaries in attendance included Senator Addie Eckardt, Caroline County Commissioner Wilbur Levengood and Caroline County Sheriff Randy Bounds.
The new name, Positive Strides, reinforces the confidence, self-esteem and optimism that riders achieve through its programs. From autism and addiction recovery to PTSD and cerebral palsy, equine therapy can play a powerful role in giving a person the confidence and skills they need to live a fulfilling life. The CATCH Rider program helps youth at risk and adults recovering from family violence and sexual abuse. Just brushing and interacting with a horse can calm a person with dementia or help someone with depression.
About Positive Strides
Founded in 1981, Positive Strides’ mission is to build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment for individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional needs by utilizing equine-assisted activities and therapies. It is a registered nonprofit organization and an active member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.