About Us


River Valley Riders is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our mission is to create a supportive community where people with special needs connect with horses and experience life-changing benefits. Our equine-assisted services include therapeutic horseback riding, carriage driving and hippotherapy.

All of our lessons are open to students in the greater Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area and western Wisconsin and take place from mid-April through early-November. We are proud to say that our services are possible with the help of over 200 caring volunteers who dedicate approximately 6,000 hours annually! As a team, we work together to enhance the participant’s physical, cognitive and emotional health while building a community of structure and support.

Please note: Safety is a high priority and we conduct all lessons in accordance with the safety, training and instructional guidelines of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

A photo of Annie the horse.

The Benefits



Because a horse’s gait is similar to the human walk, this three-dimensional movement is transferred from the horse to the rider and helps to strengthen spine and pelvic muscles and improve posture and balance. Additional exercises during lessons help to improve coordination and increase flexibility.



Riders develop self-confidence and self-esteem by accomplishing challenges as independently as possible. The instructors and volunteers always interact with the riders with patience and kindness while our horses offer unconditional acceptance.



Lessons incorporate educational activities to improve hand-eye coordination and communication, as well as reading and math skills.

Get in Touch

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