At Simple Changes Therapeutic Riding Center, lives are changed one step at a time. With access to over 800 acres of land, both an outdoor and indoor riding arena, miles of natural trails, and wide open pastures in Northern Virginia, Simple Changes gives year-round riding lessons to individuals with disabilities, including autism, genetic syndromes, and cerebral palsy – offering the exhilarating, therapeutic experience of bonding with horses and with one another. The sensation of independent movement buoys the rider's confidence and spirits; lessons that include following directions and completing tasks in sequence develop cognitive skills; and the act of riding greatly improves strength, balance, and posture. Riders learn in small groups, allowing for both personal attention and social engagement, and everyone receives a 50% scholarship. A North American Riding for the Handicapped Association premiere accredited center, Simple Changes also offers hippotherapy (physical therapy based around the unique movement of a horse) and serves wounded veterans through its aptly-named Horses for Heroes program. To so many riders, it's simple changes that make all the difference.

Headquarters: VA-Fairfax County

Where They Operate: VA-Fairfax County; VA-Prince William County; VA-City of Fairfax

Age Groups Served: Pre-K; Youth; Adolescence; Teenagers; Young Adult; Adult; Elderly; Grades K-5; Grades K-12; Grades 6-12; Grade 9-12

Ethnic Groups Served: African American, 5%; Asian American, 10%; Caucasian, 75%; Multicultural, 10%

Population(s) Served: Disabled

Schools They Work In: Southeastern Alternative School in Catlett, VA

Awards & Recognition

CVC #8506
P.A.T.H. Premier Accredited Center


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Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

Budget (FY2010)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Simple Changes is: Less than $500k

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

The Catalogue selected us as one of its featured charities! Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $29 million for charities across Greater Washington.

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