AFTON — Riding and working with horses has many beneficial effects for people with disabilities, which is why River Valley Riders has offered its services in the St. Croix Valley since 1999. People with cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, PTSD and a variety of mental health issues have been shown to benefit from therapeutic riding. 

Though lessons are over for the 2017 year, River Valley Riders hopes to begin a new project when the season begins in spring 2018 by breaking ground on an indoor arena with an observation area, classrooms, therapy rooms and more. The arena will be located at the nonprofit’s property in Afton, and will hopefully be complete in time for the 2019 season, said River Valley Riders co-founder Joan Berg. The nonprofit is currently in the fundraising stages to make this dream happen.

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