Celebrating 45 Years of Empowerment and Healing:

TEAD Therapeutic Riding Centre's Remarkable JourneyA rider sitting on a bench in front of Opie, who is tied to a post.

Mount Hope, ON – September 1, 2023

In a heartwarming celebration of four and a half decades of transformative service, TEAD Therapeutic Riding Centre commemorates its 45th anniversary as a beacon of hope, healing, and empowerment for individuals in Hamilton and its surrounding areas. Established on April 28th, 1978, TEAD has been a steady source of support, growth, and independence for countless individuals with various challenges, fostering a strong community that thrives on the connection between humans and horses.

The roots of TEAD were planted with a commitment to making a positive impact. The journey began modestly with just two borrowed horses on the grounds of Oakrun Farm Bakery on Carluke Road in Ancaster. Fast forward to today, TEAD flourishes as it calls the picturesque 92-acre Leeming Road Farm in Mount Hope its home, a space that has been nurturing the profound bond between humans and horses since September 1999.

Over the years, TEAD has witnessed tremendous growth and milestones. A significant leap came in November 1992, when the centre hired its first employee through a Trillium grant. This pivotal step paved the way for the expansion of TEAD's reach and impact in the community. The centre's dedication to growth is further exemplified by its position as an accredited Examination Centre, where instructors from across Canada gather to attain certification, reinforcing TEAD's commitment to excellence.

A rider in her lesson riding Lexie, supported by 3 volunteers. Central to TEAD's success are its therapy horses, carefully selected based on their movement, temperament, and experience. The horses serve as more than just companions; they are pivotal instruments in delivering the three-dimensional movement crucial for therapeutic riding. As riders mount these gentle creatures, they experience a profound connection and an opportunity to simulate the physical sensations of walking, a gift of mobility that can be life-changing.

The benefits of therapeutic riding are myriad and far-reaching, from the development of mobility, balance, and coordination to improved muscle tone and strength. TEAD's programs are completely tailored to each individual’s goals and abilities.  They are pivotal in enhancing concentration, learning skills, and fostering a sense of achievement.  Riders gain independence, integration, and self-confidence while engaging in a cardiovascular workout and weight bearing exercise that is both joyful and therapeutic.

Integral to TEAD's success are its dedicated instructors, all of whom are Nationally Certified through the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA). These educators undergo rigorous training that spans a course of approximately two years, ensuring the highest standards of instruction and safety. Their commitment to learning extends beyond riding techniques, as they continually update their First Aid and CPR training, reinforcing TEAD's commitment to the well-being of its riders.

TEAD relies heavily on the incredible generosity and dedication of their volunteers to help keep the organization running smoothly. They fill 116 volunteer shifts per week to cover their lessons. This support is vital to the centre's mission, and it's a testament to the remarkable community that surrounds TEAD. In fact, close to 200 volunteers dedicate their time and energy to this noble cause, with some of them proudly serving for 20+ years.

A young rider in her lesson riding Lexie, with two volunteers side walking beside her. TEAD Therapeutic Riding Centre facilitates a wide array of equine programming for all age levels and abilities. Their therapeutic riding program operates year-round, offering lessons six days a week from 9 am until approximately 8 pm, depending on the day. While they do provide a limited number of recreational lessons to independent walk/trot and walk/trot/canter riders, TEAD's primary dedication remains towards their therapeutic participants.

Beyond riding, TEAD offers a variety of mounted & unmounted wellness programs throughout the year, including Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), further enriching the lives of its participants and creating a holistic approach to well-being.

Since 1993, TEAD has also hosted Camp Wrangler, an integrated summer day camp that opens its doors to a diverse range of participants, creating unforgettable memories and fostering lifelong friendships.

As TEAD celebrates its 45th anniversary, its story stands as a testament to the power of compassion, dedication, and the profound bond between humans and horses. From its humble beginnings with borrowed horses to its current status as a leading therapeutic riding centre, TEAD has created a legacy of empowerment and healing that will continue to touch lives for generations to come.


A rider with our "Three Cheers for our Volunteers!" banner in the background.