Our goal is to raise $10 million to support therapeutic riding programs throughout Israel, so that anyone who would benefit from these programs will have that opportunity.
Sussim Osim Nissim - Horses Make Miracles
The benefits of riding for those with disabilities have been recognized for over 3,000 years, since the time of Hippocrates. Therapeutic riding has been widely used since the early 1950s as a tool for improving the lives of people with disabilities. Individuals with almost any cognitive, physical and/or emotional disability can benefit from therapeutic riding, driving, vaulting, competition or other purposeful, safe and supervised interaction with horses.
Hollywood star William Shatner has a long history of supporting therapeutic riding in the U.S. As celebrity spokesperson for the JNF endowment, he is connecting with his Jewish roots and looking to make a difference in Israel in the lives of children of all ethnicities, religions and nationalities. Through the JNF endowment, we will raise funds for all of the riding centers in Israel, and provide scholarships for children from all walks of life. The endowment will be overseen by a board of trustees who will evaluate expenditures and provide hands-on guidance for the programs.
Individuals with the following disabilities commonly participate and benefit from equine-facilitated therapy and activities:
How Therapeutic Riding Therapy Works:
Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in verbalization, flexibility, balance, muscle tone, strength, posture, coordination, motor development and emotional well being. For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. The sense of independence and acceptance found through these activities with the horse benefits all.
Many participants spends their days confined to a wheelchair or walker, and have to deal with their minds and bodies telling them they can’t do something they want to do. But on the back of a horse, they often discover that they can achieve the very things they thought were impossible. There’s a bond that develops between riders, horses and volunteers: a bond of love, caring and trust. And there are miracles, like the little girl who had never uttered a word, yet began speaking to her horse, or the little boy who had never been able to support his own weight, and is now learning to walk on his own.
A Sampling of Therapeutic Riding Centers in Israel:
For more information, to make a contribution or become involved with this program please call 1-888-JNF-0099