Central Illinois Riding Therapy


305 Neumann Dr, East Peoria, IL 61611 - (309) 699-3710

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About CIRT

Mission Statement

To promote the well-being of persons with disabilities through the provisions of horseback riding and other related activities within a safe and enjoyable atmosphere designed by professionals and implemented primarily by volunteers.



CIRT began in 1983 with money from a 4-H grant, borrowed horses and six riders. Today CIRT is a 501c3 not-for-profit organization with ten horses and serves one hundred plus riders per week.



CIRT is recognized by Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) formally known as North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) as a “Premier Accredited Center” – the highest possible level of accreditation, demonstrating a superior level of adherence to national industry standards.


Who We Serve

Approximately one hundred students per year ride at CIRT, ranging in age from three years to adult, with a variety of physical, emotional, behavioral and mental disabilities including but not limited to: Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, visual and hearing impairments, learning disabilities, head trauma, strokes, PTSD, etc.


CIRT’s staff includes an Program Director, a Volunteer Coordinator, an Barn Manager, an Office Assistant, two PATH Intl. certified instructors, and we are looking for people who would like to become PATH Intl. certified instructors.



CIRT provides lessons five days a week, Monday through Friday, April through December weather permitting.

Benefits of Therapeutic Riding (Just to name a few)

· Increased balance, strength and flexibility

· Increased ability to process information

· Independence and self-confidence

· Improved language and communication skills

· For movement impaired disabilities, horseback riding mimics the human

motion of walking in a way that is not replicated by any equipment

· Increased quality of life—it’s FUN!!



No referral is needed. However, some students are referred by private physicians,

therapists, or teachers. Others find us by word of mouth.



Our annual budget is $149,000. Less than ¼ of our income comes from lesson fees; the rest is raised through private donations, grants, and fundraising.



Approximately 200 volunteers assist with lessons, facility maintenance, fundraising, and special events. Members of the CIRT Board of Directors are volunteers as well.



High School and College volunteers are able to fulfill mandatory community service requirements at CIRT.