Rising Tide Therapeutic Programs


We are so excited to welcome Rising Tide Therapeutic Programs to the Martha's Vineyard Community Horse Center. Starting February 2018 we are one organization.

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Since 2007, Rising Tide has been improving the lives of individuals living with disabilities and challenges on Martha's Vineyard through connections with horses.

Rising Tide Therapeutic Programs involve community members of all ages and abilities. They have worked with individuals as well as community groups such as Camp Jabberwocky, The Bridge Program, Project Headway, Island Autism Group, Martha's Vineyard Community Services, Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation, and the public and charter schools on the Vineyard. 

Together, we'll be expanding these therapeutic services and opportunities to connect a more diverse group of individuals to the powerful experience of equine-assisted learning.

What is Equine-Facilitated Therapy?

Therapeutic horsemanship encompasses many activities that partner with the horse. Based on input from therapists, teachers, doctors, and parents, the client's individual goals are designed to complement ongoing therapy and education.  Benefits of the equine experience are threefold: 

1. Physical - The motion of the horse stimulates the rider much like the motion of walking. Riding also relaxes and strengthens muscles while improving muscle tone, posture, balance, joint mobility, and coordination. 

2. Emotional - Interactions with horses provide a noncompetitive setting for learning new abilities, self-discipline, and improved concentration which all help in building self-confidence. 

3. Social - Horseback riding nurtures a positive self-image. Riders and handlers experience independence plus a sense of being part of a team.

Equine-facilitated therapy and activities don't always involve riding. Everyone can benefit from being around our horses! They are fun, curious and loving animals. Come by the center to meet our herd. Experience for yourself how horses can change lives!


Our Therapeutic Programs


Individual Therapeutic Riding

Our instructors work with each individual to establish goals with our clients, their families, medical and psychological professionals. Each lesson is specifically designed for the individual rider. Lessons are typically half-hour or one-hour, and include tacking a horse, work in our indoor or outdoor arena or short trail rides.  Thanks to donors to our scholarship fund, no one will be turned away for inability to pay.


Semi-Private Therapeutic Riding

We offer groups of two riders for
semi-private lessons. Goals are assessed for each rider and our instructors tailor the lessons to integrate with each riders goals.  Semi-private lessons are
one-hour long.



In our Hot-to-Trot program, we offer male and female 55+ participants an opportunity to interact with our horses, and barn life, with supervision of our experienced staff and volunteers. According to each individual’s ability and desire, this program can be mounted or unmounted. Riding horses increases body awareness and encourages competence and confidence. Being around horses, whether mounted or unmounted has benefits such as feeling more calm, feeling a sense of purpose, lower blood pressure and increased happiness.

Individuals with the following disabilities commonly participate and
benefit from equine facilitated therapy and activities:

Attention Deficit Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Cardiovascular Accident/Stroke
Cerebral Palsy
Cystic Fibrosis


Developmental Delay
Down Syndrome
Emotional Disabilities
Impaired Coordination
Impaired Sensori-Motor
Learning Disabilities        
Mental Disabilities


Multiple Sclerosis
Muscular Dystrophy
Postural Asymmetry
Sensory Integration Disorders
Speech/Language Disorders
Spina Bifida
Spinal Cord Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injury/Stroke
Visual Impairment