Therapeutic Riding
Charlotte Parent|April 2020
Teaching confidence, focus, and friendship, one ride at a time
By Vanessa Infanzon

Wendy Schonfeld fell in love with horses in the unlikeliest of places: New York City. At age 14, she took three buses to a city barn in The Bronx so she could ride a horse on a strip of land in the middle of a highway.

Her love of horses continued into adulthood, and in 2013, Schonfeld opened RideAbility, a therapeutic riding program for adults and children, with two horses on a 15-acre farm in Clover, South Carolina. RideAbility has 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and offers a range of equine-assisted activities to promote emotional, physical, psychological, and social well-being.

“Since I was little, my love for horses was so tremendous,” Schonfeld, 54, says. “When our daughter was born with leg disabilities, riding horses was her passion. She was able to be just like everyone else—succeeding and being proud of herself. I wanted to be able to do that for other kids and families. Let them know how strong our kids are and that they can do it all.” other kids and families. Let them know how strong our kids are and that they can do it all.”

Before moving to South Carolina, Schonfeld lived on Long Island where she worked as a chiropractor. She also volunteered at HorseAbility, a therapeutic riding program that served as her model for RideAbility.

BUILT TO SUCCEED

Each rider at RideAbility gets an individual lesson plan based on his or her abilities and goals. Riders might focus on attention, balance, core strength, focus, or memory skills. Activities like brushing the horses, working on an obstacle course, or completing tasks around the barn help riders gain skills and build confidence.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CHARLOTTE PARENTView All

The Covid-19 Legacy

How will this generation-definind event affect our children?

6 mins read
Charlotte Parent
Summer 2020

Three Charlotte Murals

An art critic and his 5-year-old daughter offer their thoughts on public artworks found around the city

3 mins read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

Growing with Grace

Everyday etiquette for children and teenagers

3 mins read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

The Pint-Sized Foodie

A visit to NC Red

2 mins read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

GET TO KNOW: Rhonda Patterson, the “Queen of Custody”

She’s an attorney, arbitrator, and owner of The Patterson Law Office, where she specializes in family law.

4 mins read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

Best Friends in the end

You can be friends with your child…just not yet

4 mins read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

Four fun things to experience with your kids this month

Four fun things to experience with your kids this month

1 min read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

Autism Diet Do's and Don'ts

Autistic individuals often have difficulties with sensory processing issues, sometimes called Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD.

2 mins read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

A Cool Girl's Bedroom

WHEN DESIGNER JACY PAINTER KELLY, owner of Jacy Painter Kelly Interiors, took her family to New York City last summer, her 10-year-old daughter Lucy went crazy for the cool urban vibe of their downtown hotel room. It gave Lucy the itch to makeover her own bedroom in their Fort Mill home. She wanted more mature accents like silver wall sconces and velvet pillows, paired with punk rock elements like a graffiti-inspired bed frame and pink neon sign. Luckily her designer mom knew exactly how to tie it all together.

1 min read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020

Therapeutic Riding

Teaching confidence, focus, and friendship, one ride at a time

5 mins read
Charlotte Parent
April 2020