Nonprofit that provides therapeutic horseback rides to those with disabilities, in desperate need of new home

Updated: Feb. 4, 2021 at 10:24 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A local non-profit is in jeopardy of having to close after being informed that its property was being sold.

Steady Strides Riding Center was founded in 2017 and offers therapeutic horseback rides to children and adults with disabilities, traditional riding lessons, scholarships for low-income families and horse rescue.

In late January, SSRC learned they would have to vacate their current leased facility by May 1st. Currently SSRC has nowhere to relocate.

Which is sad news to Camille France, who is a student at Steady Strides after being injured in a car accident in 2007.

“I love horses, I love the independence, I love being able to go places I can’t go in my wheelchair,” said France. “I forget about any pain that I’m having.”

Co-Founder and Head Trainer, Melanie Roeder said it’s a challenge to find a facility that can house their 20 horses and fit their needs in order to serve those with a disability. Like a wheelchair ramp that helps individuals mount the horse.

If they do not find a place by May, they’ll have to suspend services for months, maybe a year.

“You never know there might be somebody out there who has a barn and they might want to offer it to us,” said Roeder.

But that means months where students like 6-year-old Nathan Leade will have to go without their normal rides. One’s that help him with his motor development disorder, communication delay and sensory processing disorder.

He began therapeutic riding at Steady Strides when he was 3 and a half, and only had a handful of words by then. His mom, Samantha said he’s made dramatic progress.

“He went from one word at a time, to multiple sentences. Just chattering up a storm. So, that would be very difficult if they had to move across town. He’s really come a long way.”

It’s left the riders to face an uncertain future, while Roeder hopes they find help taking the reins.

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