OUR Mission Statement

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope is dedicated to enriching the community by improving the quality of life and the health of children and adults with special physical, cognitive, emotional and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse.


  • Offer equine-assisted activities and therapies in a manner that challenges individuals with disabilities to achieve their maximum potential.
  • Provide a safe environment for all.
  • Encourage diversity in all aspects of our program.
  • Maintain excellence in the care and management of our therapeutic horse herd.
  • Recognize that our volunteers are our most important resource.
  • Value our donors by the work we produce.


The Early Days

Central Kentucky Riding for Hope began in 1981 as a collaboration between Dr. Peter Bosomworth, who at the time served as Chancellor of the University of Kentucky Medical Center, and a collection of area horse enthusiasts. The team initially borrowed horses to assist four participants. The objective was to offer an alternative to traditional machine-based and table-top therapies by using the three-dimensional movement of the horse, which is more comparable to a human’s natural stride. The pilot program was a success and we were given use of a converted tobacco barn at the then newly established Kentucky Horse Park. As a seasonal program, we became accredited through the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) in 1987 and achieved the Premier Accredited Center status by 1998.

The Next Step

Interest in our therapeutic activities grew beyond what a seasonal program could maintain. The CKRH Board of Directors saw the need to provide year-round services and undertook a $4 million capital campaign in 2005. Our indoor facility was completed in 2011 enabling us to provide programming without limitations from weather or time of day. The new facility has allowed programming to evolve beyond therapeutic riding to include hippotherapy, equine facilitated mental health and equine facilitated learning.

Where We Are Now

We are proud to partner with many organizations like Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center of the Bluegrass, Easterseals Bluegrass, Fayette County Public Schools, the Kentucky National Guard, and Camp Brown Bear to provide group therapeutic services. Since 1981, CKRH has served thousands of people living with disabilities. Thanks to the generous support of so many, we plan to maximize our impact and extend the benefits of therapeutic riding to a diverse range of clients in need.


The success of our programming is due in large part to our state-of-the-art facility, the John A. and Virginia Creech Therapeutic Riding Center. The indoor arena enables services to be offered year-round without concern for weather or time of day. This aspect provides our participants with access to consistent services—a vital component in their development.

CKRH is operated within the renowned Kentucky Horse Park and includes:

40 acres with paddocks, automatic watering systems

Additional outdoor riding options including a dressage arena, round pen, and a sensory trail

2 ADA regulation ramped mounting platforms, one indoor and one outdoor, that faciltiate all mounted participants in gaining as much independence in the mounting process as possible

A SureHands lift system that allows participants who utilize a wheelchair for mobility to mount their horse with ease

More than 50,000 square feet under one roof with an arena, stalls, wash racks, tack rooms, and storage

Additional indoor spaces in the building include the three classroom education center, which currently houses The Stables, two observation areas; staff offices; and a conference room with a commercial kitchen