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Adapted Horseback Riding 

The Adapted Horseback Riding Program offers recreation based mounted riding lessons with an emphasis on proper riding position and reining skills. Riders ages 4 and up are taught horsemanship and riding skills in an environment that’s tailored to their specific needs, goals, and learning styles. Please review eligibility criteria prior to registering.

2024 Adapted Riding Class Session Dates:
Session #1  January 8 – March 9*
Session #2  March 11 – May 18
Session #3  May 20 – July 27
Session #4  July 29 – October 5
Session #5  October 7 – December 14

*This is a 9-week session so the cost is $360, plus $50 application fee.

  • 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.
  • Class duration is 45 minutes once a week for 10 weeks.
  • Classes are group lessons (up to 5 riders in each class).
  • The cost is $400 per session (except for Session 1) with an additional annual registration fee of $50.
  • Please review the eligibility criteria listed in our handbook below prior to registering. If you have any questions, please contact Cory Ramsey at 440-238-6200 ext. 225 or email

Download Therapeutic Horsemanship Program Handbook

Register and Pay Online


Our Therapeutic Horsemanship Program includes:

  • Adapted Horseback Riding 
  • Pony Pals
  • Equine Assisted Leadership, Team Building, and Mental Health Groups
  • Scout Groups
  • Barn Tours

Download our Therapeutic Horsemanship Services Guide Here for more detail about activities, eligibility, and fees.


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

Pony Pals

The Pony Pals Program is designed for typically developing children ages 4 – 12.  It consists of 1-hour classes, which include: a 30-minute beginner horseback riding lesson and a 30-minute hands-on ground lesson covering safety, grooming, stable care and more! (For children with special needs, we offer our Adapted Horseback Riding Program).
Pony Pals 2024 Sessions

Mondays 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Session #1  June 3, June 10, June 17, June 24
Session #3  July 1, July 8, July 15, July 22
Session #5  July 29, August 5, August 12, August 19

Wednesdays 9:00 am – 10:00 am
Session #2 
June 5, June 12, June 19, June 26
Session #4 
July 3, July 10, July 17, July 24
Session #6 
July 31, August 7, August 14, August 21

Classes are held at Camp Cheerful in Strongsville and are limited to a maximum of 10 participants.  Each 4-week session costs $160.00. For more information contact Cory Ramsey at

Register for Pony Pals

Rider Information

What should my child wear to their riding lesson? What do I do if we need to miss a lesson? Download our Therapeutic Horsemanship Program Handbook here.

Have questions? Contact Cory Ramsey at 440-238-6200 ext. 225 or email


Our caring and dedicated volunteers, ages 14 and over, walk alongside riders during lessons, lead horses or help with barn-related tasks. No experience is required – we provide training for new volunteers, and on-going learning opportunities.

Learn more about volunteering here
Have questions?
Call Hannah Hayes at 440-238-6200 ext. 225 or email

Horse & Equipment Donations

If you have a prospective horse donation, please contact Marissa Palazzolo at 440-238-6200 ext. 238, or email

Interested in donating an item to help our Therapeutic Horsemanship program?
Download Our Wish List Here

Adapted Horseback Riding Program Information

Download the Therapeutic Horsemanship Program Handbook Here for complete information including eligibility criteria. Please review the eligibility criteria before registration.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must meet all eligibility criteria listed below to be considered for participation.

  • All forms and paperwork must be completed and updated on an annual basis
  • Fees must be paid as agreed before the start of each session
  • Must be a minimum age of 4 years or older at the start of the session
  • Wear an approved helmet, footwear, and any other necessary safety equipment
  • Weigh under 180 lbs for independent riders, weigh under 50 lbs for riders who cannot bear weight
  • Be of a weight and height ratio that can safely be managed by staff, volunteers, and/or the equine
  • Mount and dismount safely with assistance
  • Sit up on their own with minimal assistance
  • Maintain head and neck control at all times
  • Maintain a centered position while the horse is in motion
  • Sit quietly in the saddle without excessive movement
  • Understand and comply with verbal instructions
  • Actively engage in a positive manner with the horse, other riders, instructors, and volunteers
  • Ability to participate meaningfully
  • Demonstrate safety awareness
  • Ability to tolerate extreme temperatures
  • Ability to progress as evidenced throughout each session

Application Process

Registration is not a guarantee for participation. If a candidate meets the eligibility criteria, the application can be made through our online registration system. All required forms and payments must be received to complete your application, including the non-refundable application fee. Upon completion of registration, a telephone intake will be conducted at which time a determination will be made as to whether or not we will proceed with an on-side intake which includes a barn tour and riding assessment. Upon completion of an on-site intake and a staff review of the participant’s registration, a determination will be made as to whether or not our Adapted Riding Program is recommended. Participants who are accepted into the program may be placed on the waiting list until an appropriate level class becomes available. The first 10-week session for any new rider will serve as a probationary period to determine if continuation in adapted riding is recommended.

Whom do I contact if I have questions?

Cory Ramsey, Manage of Equine Programs, 440-238-6200 x 225

Research has shown that children who spend time outdoors with horses benefit from reduced stress levels, increased confidence, longer attention spans, improved communication skills, as well as increased muscle strength and coordination!


Camp Cheerful’s Therapeutic Horsemanship Program is certified as a Premier Accredited Center by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). Camp Cheerful’s Therapeutic Horsemanship Program is one of only a few 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.


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.

Contact us for more information

Cory Ramsey

Manager of Equine Programs, Instructor
440-238-6200 ext. 225

Hannah Hayes

Therapeutic Riding Volunteer Coordinator, Instructor
440-238-6200 ext. 242

Marissa Palazzolo

Assistant Manager of Equine Programs, Barn Manager, Instructor
440-238-6200 ext. 224

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