Imagine viewing the changing seasons from the back of a gently swaying, friendly horse. Located at Camp Cheerful's Riding Center in the Cleveland Metroparks Mill Stream Run Reservation in Strongsville, the program offers five year-round sessions.

The Achievement Centers for Children’s Therapeutic Horsemanship Program helps children gain confidence, build strength, improve balance and form wonderful friendships.

Children and adults, ages 4 and older with and without special needs, enjoy the many benefits of the therapeutic horsemanship program tailored to their physical, mental and emotional strengths and capabilities. Lessons teach basic horseback riding and horse handling skills. Physical exercises and educational activities are woven into the riding lesson making it therapeutic for the riders.

Our Therapeutic Horsemanship Program serves individual groups and local schools in the Cleveland area, and recreational activities for campers during the summer months.

Camp Cheerful's Therapeutic Horsemanship Program is certified as a Premier Accredited Center Program by The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). Camp Cheerful's Therapeutic Horsemanship Program is one of only twelve such accredited centers in Ohio that provides quality professional equine-assisted activities while meeting established industry standards. All of Camp Cheerful's Therapeutic Horsemanship instructors are certified and registered by PATH.

Download a Therapeutic Horsemanship Program brochure.

Benefits of Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Children with Disabilities

  • Balance, posture, strength
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork, cooperation
  • Self-confidence, self-esteem
  • Emotional control, self-discipline
  • Sense of normality
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Visual/spatial perception
  • Remedial math and reading skills
  • Advanced equestrian skills

2017 Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program Session Dates:

All sessions are 10 weeks
The cost is $350 per session.
Riding and horsemanship classes are available for riders with and without disabilities. Class offerings include morning, evening and Saturday options based on availability and rider ability, which will be determined after the application and intake process has been completed. Classes are 1 hour per week for 10 weeks with an average of 5 riders in each class. We offer 10-week sessions 5 times throughout the year as listed below.

Session 1 - January 3 - March 11 (no classes Mon. 1/16/17 - MLK Day, and Mon. 2/20/17 - President's Day)
Session 2 - March 13 - May 20
Session 3-  May 22 - July 29 (no classes Mon. 5/29/17 - Memorial Day, and Tues. 7/4/17 - Independence Day)
Session 4  - July 31 - October 7 (no classes Mon. 9/4/17 - Labor Day, and 9/21/17 - Event-Timberland Horse Expo)
Session 5 -  October 9 - December 16  (no classes Thurs. & Fri. 11/23 & 11/24/17 - Thanksgiving)

Click here to register online for Therapeutic Riding sessions.
Already registered? Click here to manage your account online.

To learn more about how to prepare for lessons, visit our Therapeutic Horsemanship Rider page.


Our caring and dedicated volunteers, ages 14 and over, walk alongside riders during lessons, lead horses or help with barn-related tasks. Our volunteers, highly trained staff and gentle horses enable us to provide therapeutic horseback riding sessions and other horsemanship activities to children and adults with disabilities.

Have questions? Call Hannah Hayes at 440-238-6200 ext. 225 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


The Achievement Centers' Camp Cheerful maintains an average of nine horses and accepts new donations on an as-needed basis. If you have a prospective donation, please call Cory Ramsey at 440-238-6200 ext. 225. If we feel your horse is a candidate, we will schedule a visit to your home or stable to evaluate your horse both medically and under saddle. We can also answer any questions you might have about our horse donation procedures. All of our horses undergo a standard 30-day trial period.

Horse donations are tax-deductible.

For more information about our Therapeutic Horsemanship program, please contact Cory Ramsey, Manager of Equine Programs at (440) 238-6200 ext 225 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Achievement Centers for Children is an authorized licensee of the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District. Inquiries regarding the cooperative relationship may be directed to the Chief Executive Officer, Cleveland Metroparks, 4101 Fulton Parkway, Cleveland, Ohio 44144; 216-635-3200.