Rainbow Riders is a local organization that provides therapeutic and recreational sports riding to community members with special needs. They are affiliated with the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). They have been an integral part of the Troy community for many years.
A pilot program was created in early 2006 to involve people at Martha Lloyd in animal assisted activities. The pilot program was an immediate success. Initially the program was offered 2 times per week with 3 people attending each night. It has now expanded to 4 nights a week with close to 20 people participating at different times throughout the week.
Putting people and animals together for therapeutic benefit gained popularity in the 1970s. At that time house pets were generally used for therapy purposes. As time went on, more and more animals were utilized in enhancing the quality of life for individuals with special needs.
At the Rainbow Riders’ Ranch individuals groom horses and dogs. They also feed and water ducks, sheep, rabbits, cats, dogs, chickens, goats, and Buddha the llama. Participants find joy in completing tasks with success and working together as a team. This is a very rewarding and special partnership between Rainbow Riders and Martha Lloyd. Martha Lloyd Community Services is very proud to have the opportunity to offer such a beneficial program.