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SHIPPENSBURG — Everybody loves horses, especially kids. Right? 

What if there were a place where you could take your kids so they could get the full benefit of interacting with horses for a fraction of the cost of owning one? No boarding, feeding, farrier, or vet costs; just the petting, riding, grooming and fun.

As an added bonus, participants grow mentally, emotionally, and physically. Best of all, they can love a horse without parents having to own one.

​Well, there is such a Utopian place, and it’s called Reins of Rhythm Riding and Horsemanship.

Located on McClay’s Mill Road in Shippensburg near Shippensburg University, Reins of Rhythm serves young horse lovers 4-18 years of age.

The Mission

Its mission is to embrace the youth joining the program and identify how it can provide the most benefit to each individual. All participants learn equestrian skills, including riding, handling, and caring for horses. They also learn responsibility and respect for other living creatures.

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A child finds happiness on a horse. (RoR photo)
A child finds happiness on a horse. (RoR photo)

By learning to ride, which requires balance, coordination and athleticism, kids develop confidence, learn responsibility and compassion. They learn to accept and interact with others, as well as with their equine partners. 

Coming together through a common bond of loving horses, children break down barriers and replace them with bridges while building bonds of friendship.

Together with the collaboration of volunteers, horses with their perceptive non-judgmental awareness are able to touch the hearts of youth through the gifts of love, listening, empowering and understanding.

Reins of rhythm
A girl and her equine best friend

The horses can connect children to a better understanding of their true value and inner potential. Horses also help them to overcome obstacles and turn limitations into boundless possibilities.

Education in horsemanship and riding skills is empowering for the young people at Reins of Rhythm. They learn to celebrate who they are and how they can impact the world around them. The result is communities and a world that is a more understanding, inclusive and supportive place to live and thrive.

Hear It From Those Impacted:

“These horses and volunteers believed in me even when I did not believe in myself” Participant (age 15)

“Reins of Rhythm has become my home; it is where I want to be; it is the place I know I am being the best version of me.” Participant (Age 13)

“Because of this program her future is brighter, her smile is bigger and her heart has hope.” Participant Grandparent

“At Reins of Rhythm and when I am with the horses, I am just a kid…not a “kid with a diagnosis” – I just get to be ME!” Participant (age 9)

Inspiring Hope, Fostering Independence

According to Community Outreach Coordinator, Ruth Gunnett, “We are committed to inspiring hope, fostering independence, promoting positive character building and improving the mental, physical and emotional well-being of youth of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds.”

Programs include: 

  • Riding & Horsemanship
  • Sessions Group Sessions
  • Pony Day Camps
  • Pony Tales -Youth Literacy Enrichment Program
  • Lead with Horses -Teen Mentorship Sessions

​The cost ranges from as low as $20 a week for a five-week group riding or horsemanship lesson to $75 for a one-hour private lesson. For anyone who has owned a horse or had to pay for lessons or boarding at a riding academy, it’s clear that this is a very economical alternative. 

​But to maintain these low prices, Reins of Rhythm needs supporters. You can help by visiting their Adopt a Horse Campaign sites on GoFundMe and their website, which are listed below. 

​In addition to donations, Reins of Rhythm needs volunteers to work with the children and horses. 

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