Lucia Farm will allow for 99 Additional Days of Services for area residents with disabilities
Leesburg, VA – (July 2, 2021) –
The Board of Directors of Loudoun Therapeutic Riding (LTR) is asking the Loudoun County community to match or exceed its recent seed donation of $200,000 to support the organization’s purchase of Lucia Farm in Lovettsville. LTR is the only Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship-accredited center in Loudoun County and was Virginia’s first therapeutic riding center. By moving to Lucia Farm from its current location at Morven Park, LTR will be able to provide an additional 99 days of equine-assisted services to serve adults and children, helping them thrive by becoming stronger, more resilient, and independent—all through real horsepower.
Currently, there are 15,300 Loudoun County residents living with disabilities
, and approximately 11 percent of students in Loudoun County Public Schools
are identified as having special needs. In addition:
- 3,000 of the 21,470 veterans living in Loudoun County are likely to be living with PTSD.
- 80,000 County residents are living with a mental health condition.
- 16,000 Loudoun residents, of whom 11,000 are under the age of 18, live with severe mental illness.
“Despite the great – and growing – need for our services, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding has a waiting list of 35 adults and children,” said Susan Koehler, LTR executive director. “At Lucia Farm, our ability to serve more people will increase instantly. For example, more stalls and more flexibility give us an additional 99 days each year to change the lives of individuals living with disabilities.
“We have been honored and extremely grateful to Morven Park and the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation for their support for the past 26 years. It has allowed us to keep operating costs down while enjoying a location in a premier equestrian center,” Koehler said. “Unfortunately, this location doesn’t allow us to expand to meet the current demand for services. We will greatly miss Morven Park, but need to do all we can to serve those in our county who could benefit greatly from equine-assisted services.”
According to Koehler, Lucia Farm (14990 Berlin Turnpike in Lovettsville) is a 25-acre equestrian farm with an 80′ x 200′ indoor arena, an attached center stall barn with 17 stalls and four overflow stalls for a total of 21 stalls, and a lighted 80′ x 180′ outdoor arena. Other amenities include 10 paddocks with seven run-in sheds.
Board Chair Reggie Howard said, “At Lucia Farm, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding not only can grow to meet the community need for equine-assisted services, but also lower overall costs in the long run. The programming possibilities are endless, but making this move successfully will require community support. We hope those in Loudoun County who understand the dire need for therapeutic services – particularly in light of increased mental health issues related to the pandemic – will meet the Board challenge to support this move.
“The number of unique lives touched by Loudoun Therapeutic Riding will increase exponentially because of the move,” Howard said.
Lucia Farm has a barn and indoor arena under one roof with an adjacent outdoor arena. This configuration is larger than their current location and will decrease the time and effort to prepare for lessons. It also will allow for more lessons and increase interactions between LTR clients and the horses in the stable to create the additional beneficial unmounted interaction time for the student with the horse. Lucia Farm also offers LTR the capability to:
About Loudoun Therapeutic Riding
- Create a more robust Winter schedule from barn and indoor being under one roof;
- Better utilize current human and horse resources.
- Grow its herd to serve even more clients.
Loudoun Therapeutic Riding is a 501(C)3 charitable organization and was the first therapeutic horsemanship center established in Virginia. Equine assisted activities are widely recognized as
beneficial for adults and children with physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges. They can help them develop self-awareness and build self-confidence, improve concentration, increase self-discipline, strengthen and relax muscles, and improve posture. They also help clients increase core strength, balance, coordination, and joint mobility. One of the fastest growing groups to benefit from Loudoun Therapeutic Riding’s work is military veterans experiencing PTSD. Loudoun Therapeutic Riding annually serves 350 children and adults, thanks to the generosity of donors, a staff of 10, a herd of 14 horses and ponies, and 100 weekly volunteers. Loudoun Therapeutic Riding is the only center in Loudoun County to have achieved accreditation from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH-Intl). For additional information and to support Loudoun Therapeutic Riding’s work, visit www.ltrf.org
U.S. Census Bureau
Public Information Office, Loudoun County Public Schools
4 National Institute of Mental Health
5 National Association of Mental Illness (NAMI)