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Non-Profit Spotlight: Heroes on Horseback


Heroes on Horseback enriches our community and the lives of individuals with special needs by providing equine-assisted activities and therapy in an effective, compassionate environment.


The nonprofit was founded in May 2000 by two Hilton Head residents that had a passion to partner disabled children and adults with horses. The therapeutic horseback riding program began as a pilot program with five participants and 25 volunteers. Volunteers were recruited and training was offered to educate volunteers on their role in the therapeutic riding session. Heroes on Horseback served 31 participants in 2001, including a special education class from the Hilton Head Elementary school. The program continues to grow every year, and now serves most of the special education classes in Beaufort and Jasper counties.

Who it Helps

Heroes on Horseback’s purpose is to enrich the lives of special-needs individuals through equine therapy. During the school year, it provides special-needs children with therapeutic riding and associated activities six days per week, with additional programs for six weeks in the summer. Its program consists of therapeutic riding, natural horsemanship, and equine-inspired arts and crafts, which together provide the special-needs child with a combination of physical, emotional and intellectual empowerment.

How to Help

Eighty-nine percent of the cost of the program is funded through contributed income, so donations are extremely important to the program. While it does have a tuition rate for its services, no one has ever been denied because of a lack of financial resources. Additionally, Heroes on Horseback is always looking for volunteers. Volunteers play a critical role in the program, as it typically takes three volunteers to assist one rider.

For more information on Heroes on Horseback: Call 843-757-5607 or go to