The therapeutic riding program, started in Brooklyn in 2007, helps individuals with special needs build developmental, emotional, social and physical skills while enjoying the pleasures of horseback riding.
Last year, GallopNYC took over the lease of the Cedar Lane stables in Lindenwood, but there was still no place for riders during bad weather. The purchase of Lynne’s, an indoor arena they have utilized in the past, addresses that need.
“We've loved working at Lynne’s for the last five years, and we look forward to offering riding at Lynne's high standards,” said GallopNYC executive director Alicia Kershaw.
According to Kershaw, they still have a waiting list of 600 riders. With the new space, they’ll be able to service about 500 riders a week at their four New York City locations.
GallopNYC purchased the space for $3 million back in January from proprietor Lynn Holzhauser, who will still work at the stables with her established clientele. They finished approximately $300,000 in renovations after the purchase.
Holzhauser donated all of her horses, saddles and other barn equipment to GallopNYC, and having her expertise and familiarity with the horses around is very helpful for the volunteers.
“She a tremendous horsewoman,” Kershaw said of Holzhauser. “And she knows the actual horses, which is really valuable.”
Kershaw said GallopNYC was able to raise the money to purchase the stables thanks to their generous board and foundation sponsors, as well as a barn dance fundraiser they held last year.
The stables are fully open and operational. Most of the time they’ll be used for the therapeutic riding program, but GallopNYC also offers some educational programming to the general public.
For more information, visit gallopnyc.org.