October 19, 2020


The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program


The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program (NVTRP) exists to help each individual realize their highest potential by providing equine-assisted activities to people with disabilities, youth-at-risk, recovering military personnel, and others in need in an inclusive, community setting. Continually accredited since 1997 as a Premier Center by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, the trade organization for the therapeutic riding industry), NVTRP uses proven methods of therapeutic horsemanship to facilitate a range of physical, social, and emotional benefits to riders.

Founded in 1980 as the Fairfax 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program under the Virginia 4-H Extension Program, NVTRP incorporated as an independent 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization in 1998. When NVTRP started it was an all-volunteer program with one borrowed horse and a handful of riders; today, the organization has a herd of 16 horses, four full-time and nine part-time paid staff, three contractual therapists, and a team of up to 200 weekly volunteers. Together, this team serves approximately 115 unique riders each week.

Throughout its history, NVTRP has always been based in Clifton; and the support of many Clifton residents and organizations, including the Clifton Community Woman’s Club, has been key to the organization’s growth. After 32 years of a nomadic existence, operating on leased or borrowed property, NVTRP purchased its first-ever permanent homeā€”the 17 acre O’Shaughnessy Farm (formerly Little Full Cry)–in 2012.

Almost immediately, planning began for a three-phased capital improvement on the property, the crown jewel of which is the construction of a 17,000 square foot indoor riding arena. This project will be transformative: 1) by allowing current riders to continue riding and progressing, year-round, regardless of the weather, and 2) by allowing NVTRP to expand services, helping to reduce, or even eliminate the current one-year + waiting list for services. The first phase of the project, including the new, lit Trefry Outdoor Riding Arena, accessible playground, expanded parking, and several other structural improvements was completed in early 2019. Groundbreaking for Phase II, the construction of the Jean and Ric Edelman Indoor Riding Arena, is anticipated in the summer of 2020. Phase III, the construction of a new 20-stall barn will begin upon the successful completion of the final fundraising.

There is a parking lot on the grounds. Then follow arrows to the tour.