BTRC was founded in 1979 by John Breaugh, former principal of the Marvin E. Beekman Center, to meet the need for specialized horseback riding therapy for Beekman Center students and community members with disabilities.
Beekman Therapeutic Riding Center provides people of all abilities the opportunity to partner with horses through natural horsemanship, to inspire the spirit, heal the body, and nourish the soul in a safe, caring, four-season environment with nationally certified instructors and specially trained horses.
From humble beginnings when 4-H members transported their horses to the Beekman campus and volunteered their time to give lessons to the students at the Beekman Center only during warmer weather months, we have expanded to offering services to disabled and able bodied clients from throughout the community on groomed trails and in a year-round heated indoor riding arena.
We now house eight horses and two ponies in the comfort of a modern facility with pastures, pens, and sheds. We employ two highly skilled instructors, a herd manager, an office manager, and a volunteer coordinator. Our red barn, constructed in 1974, houses our tack shop, selling used tack to help fund the program, as well as birthday parties, camp crafts, and open houses.
While we are housed on the grounds of the Marvin E. Beekman Center, we are no longer a program of the Lansing School District. We are a program of the Lansing Public Schools Educational Advancement Foundation (LEAF) a 501(c)(3) non profit foundation separate from the school district. We subsist on grants, community lesson fees, a superb cast of dedicated volunteers, and the generosity of donors. All donations to BTRC, whether in cash or in kind, are tax deductible. Our program is governed by a hard working eight-member Advisory Board.
Who Benefits from BTRC?
Our primary focus has always been Beekman students. Each year we provide lessons and equine experiences to more than 70 students from the Beekman Center. Riding classes are considered a school elective and students are scheduled according to individual education plans specifically devised for them. Classes take place, year around (weather permitting) in the comfort of our heated indoor arena. Our Beekman student riding program schedule follows the school’s schedule, typically starting in mid-September and ending in mid-June, however based on funding, we also offer summer school lessons as well.
We offer four terms of riding for the Beekman students, fall, winter, spring and summer. Sessions last four to six weeks and classes are scheduled from mid-morning into the evening. During Beekman Center school months (September through June), Beekman students have priority for our riding services during the school day. From mid-afternoon through evening, we open our schedule to community riders who pay for lessons. By creating a schedule to accommodate a wide range of abilities and levels of experience, we are able to place all students in classes that best suit their needs and we expose our herd to the balance and skills of able bodied as well as differently abled riders.
Our horses are specially trained to accommodate students of all abilities. They are safe and friendly and we adhere to Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International PATH, Intl. requirements to assure their appropriateness and safety for our riders.
Our riding classes are taught by our experienced instructors who are certified or in the certification process by PATH Intl. Our lessons and other activities are facilitated by our assisting staff and volunteers. All staff and volunteers are required to complete BTRC training before they are allowed to assist in classes. Our program functions under PATH, Intl. guidelines to provide an enjoyable and safe environment for all participants. In addition to these popular services, we offer clinics, community classes, and equine therapy.
Please contact us for more information!