Therapeutic horseback riding activities for mentally, physically, and emotionally challenged children, adults, and for veterans
Established in 1992 to provide therapeutic horseback riding activities for mentally, physically, and emotionally challenged children and adults. Eos (pronounced EE-ose) is a shortened form of the word Eohippus, the first horse of evolution.
Eos was founded in 1992 by Executive Director Debbie Smith.
She learned about therapeutic riding when she was recovering from a back injury and understood how riding could benefit people with physical problems. With a modest amount of money donated by friends and businesses in Millville, PA, and a great deal of determination, she began the program with six riders and two ponies that she owned. Eos was also incorporated in that year. In 1993 Eos became an IRS tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
We are also registered with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Charitable Organizations. Eos has experienced steady growth with increasing demand for our special type of therapy. Our more than ten-fold increase in riders has required us to own twelve horses and ponies.
The first six years of operation were done outdoors in a riding ring and small outdoor trail. In 1997, Eos was awarded the Columbia County Community Development Block Grant that provided most of the funds to construct an indoor riding arena so that we could operate a longer riding season and even in inclement weather.
The 1998 season saw the first operations in the new arena and nearly double the number of riding sessions from the previous year. In 1999, a heated waiting room and accessible restroom facility were added to the arena. Also, that year saw an increase in the number of riding sessions by another fifty per cent over 1998. Eos now provides over 2,000 therapeutic riding sessions annually to about 85 riders. This growth has been possible through the hard work and devotion of hundreds of people, the vast majority of whom labour as volunteers, as well as generous contributors and the community as a whole.
Our riders come from a large geographic area around Bloomsburg, PA, which includes Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union, Luzerne, & Snyder counties. They present a wide variety of special needs including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, brain and spinal cord injuries, mental impairments, sensory deficits, autism, and many others. The ages of our riders range from toddler to senior citizen. We currently serve about 85 riders and have a waiting list of over thirty. Riders are added to the program as resources allow. Physicians or physical and occupational therapists refer some riders to the program. Others are referred by social or case workers or the families of established riders. Still others hear about us from a variety of other sources including newspaper and television stories and information booths at malls and community events around the area.
Staff and Board of Directors
Eos Therapeutic riding center is lovingly built and maintained by these folks
Board of Directors
Gary Treven, President
Arthur (Skip) Fryling, Vice President
Bruce Wilcox, Treasurer
Dawn Knoebel, Recording Secretary
Barbara Branda, Bookkeeper
Mary Lynne Brown