Business Number: 891723843RR0001

The Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association provides equine-based wellness programs for persons with special needs.

Services include therapeutic riding, therapeutic horsemanship, para-equestrian sport, adapted equestrian vaulting, and stable management vocational development interventions as well as horse camps for children of all abilities.

CTRA serves as a hub of inclusion and catalyst for human potential, enriching the lives of countless individuals and supporting key social determinants of health in our community. 


CTRA welcomes over 100 participants (mostly children and youth) per session with 5 sessions running year round. In addition, CTRA offers horse camps for children of all abilities in the spring and summer.

CTRA’s program offers a range of services designed to meet the unique needs of a diverse user population. A core therapeutic riding program is supplemented by therapeutic horsemanship (offering unmounted therapeutic interactions with horses); therapeutic vaulting (a group-based activity combining dance and gymnastic movements on a moving horse); para-equestrian sport (adaptive equestrian sport with a focus on competition); and summer/spring horse camps for children of all abilities (providing an inclusive camp-experience for children often excluded from these opportunities because of their disability). A stable management vocational development program builds upon the therapeutic horsemanship program to teach highly transferable job training for participants with special needs.

While several unaccredited programs in the region offer equine-based wellness programs, there are only a few organizations in the Vancouver Island area (including Powell River) that are certified as Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) “member centres.” Of these, CTRA is one of the largest, and the only centre that offers a “lift” (requiring specially trained horses and personnel) to accommodate clients with severe mobility restrictions (e.g. persons in wheelchairs). CTRA remains the only CanTRA centre in British Columbia to be accredited at the highest level (as an “Examination and Training Centre”) and as such, acts as a resource and professional development hub for therapeutic riding organizations across the Province.

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What People Are Saying

"CTRA has been a strong part of her independence. She has something to look forward to once a week, something she can achieve on her own. The inner strength and physical strength she has built has given her so much. "

— Parent of a CTRA participant, Read More

"Riding...has been so good for my self confidence. Staying positive and grateful is the new focus for me. I had just wanted to ride again and I had no idea that being back in the saddle would be so life changing…” "

— CTRA participant , Read More

"Working with the Riding Instructors at the Cowichan Therapeutic Center has changed so many things for our daughter. She has gained confidence, endurance, strength, and is now able to participate in activities that keep her active and healthy. "

— Parent of a CTRA participant, Read More

"This has been a cornerstone of her recovery. I am wishing your association a successful new year. May these opportunities continue to be shared with those who are ready to fall in love with life through the people and horses at CTRA."

— Medical doctor (working with a CTRA participant), Read More

"This program came at a good time in my life as I pursue a dream I once thought unattainable, to work around horses. It has helped me prepare for that goal in an ideal setting with accommodating, caring staff and amazing, patient therapeutic horses."

— CTRA participant , Read More

"...Now she is such a different person it is amazing. She also smiles and laughs more, more happy. I have had so many people ask me what is different; I just explain that she has found herself."

— Caretaker of a CTRA participant , Read More

"The quality of instruction was excellent and the sense of accomplishment was observable. It was wonderful to relax and bask in the obvious joy and pride of my grandson."

— Grand-parent of a CTRA participant, Read More

"He really does like horses and this program has given him the chance to enjoy himself. His communication skills have improved and he has something to look forward to weekly. It gives me joy to see him improving so much. "

— Parent of a CTRA participant , Read More

"The physical benefits are amazing but also the confidence when sharing what he is learning is boosting his self-esteem. Riding is the highlight of his week."

— Parent of a CTRA participant , Read More

"Becky is more independent, more focused and her communication and listening skills have improved greatly. Staff have noticed a happier and more balanced (physically and mentally) Becky. Becky looks forward to her riding, her smile says it all"

— anonymous , Read More

"I would like to take the time to thank the people responsible for putting joy, hope, and self worth back into my life. A few things I thought I had lost forever."

— CTRA participant , Read More

"She has had her confidence soar due to valued time spent with her at the therapeutic riding center (both staff & volunteers). It has been truly of great benefit."

— Parent of a CTRA participant, Read More

"Riding has given her an opportunity to experience success and has given her an area of her life where she feels responsibility and control. This confidence and self esteem is her to be more successful in all aspects of her life. "

— Parent of a CTRA participant, Read More

"Since entering the program three and a half years ago, we have seen a vast improvement in her confidence, her ability to listen, her eye to hand coordination and in her comprehension skills."

— Parent of a CTRA participant , Read More

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