Two weeks ago we introduced one of our partner organizations that help us achieve our mission of finding the Intersection of Profit and Purpose. As you may recall from that blog, one of the key values of our company is to use our profits to help make the world a better place. Part of that value is working with organizations that inspire us as they serve people most in need across the globe. While we sponsor organizations that operate globally as well, we also look for local champions to support that are serving people in our own backyard. We are pleased to introduce you to one such organization today: Morning Dove.
Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization in Indianapolis, Indiana offering equine-assisted services to a wide range of child, adolescent and adult participants with physical, cognitive, behavioral and/or emotional disabilities. Morning Dove works with hundreds of students each week to build physical, behavioral, emotional and relational skills through horseback riding. Through these efforts, students build confidence, core strength, communication skills and a source of personal pride as they become partners with their horse. We recently sat down with Bailee Reynolds, Development Director at Morning Dove, to discuss more about their key mission.
Tell us a little about the history of Morning Dove
Morning Dove was founded by a family in Whitestown with a neighbor who had a disability. They used their own horses to help this individual learn to ride. Morning Dove grew from there. We have resided in Whitestown and Zionsville over our 20-year history.
How is Morning Dove working to satisfy its mission and what are some of the strategic objectives of the organization?
Our goal is to make Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding, Inc. a community center that improves the quality of life of everyone who walks, drives or wheels through our gates. We will continue to focus our skills and programs on therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities for individuals with special needs. Some of the key elements of our mission are as follows:
- Provide safe and educational equine-assisted programs to children and adults with disabilities in our community, particularly for our primary demographic, ages 5-17.
- Partner with community organizations to offer programs where mutual benefit exists
- Serve families of our participants in a support role within the boundaries of our mission
- Provide meaningful and productive volunteer opportunities within the community
- Provide progressive programming based on emerging trends, research and needs within
the equine-assisted therapies and activities community
Can you tell us a brief overview of Therapeutic Riding and its benefits for individuals with
Morning Dove offers EAAT (Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies) to people with physical, cognitive and/or emotional challenges. Lead by PATH International certified instructors, therapeutic riding helps our students build relationships of trust and acceptance through horses. The horse’s rhythm, strength, warmth, and three-dimensional movement provides healthy exercise, improved core strength, circulation and muscle tone. The goals of therapeutic riding include developing independence on the horse, improving physical strength, coordination and balance, increasing confidence, encouraging social interactions among their peers, raising self-esteem, increasing self-sufficiency, and reducing anxiety. Therapeutic riding teaches riding skills to all levels of ability in a safe environment.
How well do the students relate to the horses?
Equine assisted activities and therapies help individuals:
- Build trusting and accepting relationships with horses, their certified instructor, peers and trained volunteers
- Improve their core strength, balance, and coordination
- Gain confidence, improve self-esteem and increase self-sufficiency, and even reduce anxiety
How do partnerships with families like the Strohls or organizations like Red Leaf Nutrition help Morning Dove meet its goals?
Through a strategic collaboration and valued partnership, partnering families, companies or organizations, have the opportunity to make a meaningful difference at Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding Center. By working together, it is our chance to make a real difference in the communities we call home and the families served by Morning Dove.
What are the biggest needs of Morning Dove today?
- Increase horse herd allowing more riding
- Increase number of people served
- Serve larger service area in Indianapolis-area
- Increase number of volunteers and partnerships throughout the community
How can people help? Whom should they contact if they are willing to partner with Morning Dove or volunteer to help?
Morning Dove relies on volunteers to put on every day programming. Each lesson can have anywhere from 3 to 9 volunteers, depending on each rider’s ability. If you are interested in volunteering, please email Elizabeth Sadler – email@example.com. If you want to be a part of Morning Dove’s future and partner with us, please reach out to Bailee Reynolds – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once again, we hope you can see why Morning Dove inspires us! The devoted activities of staff and volunteers have made a great difference in our daughter Sarah’s life. She looks forward to horse every week and has grown in her confidence with “Vinny” and “Pete”, her two favorite rides. We hope you will join us in supporting this great organization. Click here to learn more about who we are at Red Leaf Nutrition.