Non-profit charitable organization «Therapeutic Equestrian Centre «Sunny Island» (Russia) has been carrying out social projects for disabled people since 1996. The main goal of the organization is to improve living of socially exposed persons in Saint Petersburg and Leningrad region by way of contact with horses, hippotherapy exercises, riding and equestrian sport.

 Our programs are:
-Adaptive riding or hippotherapy — is the main direction of the Centre activities. Hippotherapy is a treatment through horse riding for persons with physical disabilities. During the whole period of the Centre functioning there were taken more than 750 persons at the age from 3 till 50 who had such diagnosis as: infantile cerebral paralysis, autism, delay of mental development, Down’s syndrome, amputations, disseminated sclerosis etc.

-Equestrian sport for disabled. Disabled sportsmen, who get training in Therapeutic Equestrian Centre «Sunny Island», represent Saint Petersburg on contests all over Russia and on international contests. During the time of the Centre functioning there were coached more than 60 sportsmen;

— Horseback riding exercise for children and teenagers from risk groups. This program contributes to the socialization, the integration into society and the physical development of children and teenagers;

— Summer Riding Camp for children and teenagers from risk groups and for disabled children. Disabled children at the age from 6 years old and older, having serious physical and mental disabilities, as well as healthy children take part in this program. The program of the camp is aimed to all-round development and strengthening of health of teenagers. Children learn horseback riding, go hiking, go in for outdoor sports and play games. They communicate with each other and have meetings with pedagogues and psychologists;

— Teaching program on hippotherapy for students of Pedagogical Universities. The program consists of a series of lectures under the direction of the Centre «Sunny Island» specialists. The program is realized in Pedagogical and Physical Training Universities in order to popularize the method and to prepare qualified specialists and volunteers. The Centre operates as a non-profit and nongovernmental organization. It works due to the support of non-governmental organizations and participation of people who are not indifferent to this problem. Also volunteers take active part in programs of the Centre.

The activity of the Centre is well known to governmental organizations and public funds that deal with problems of disabled children and difficult teenagers, also their rehabilitation and integration into society. The ten-year experience of our activity proves efficiency and necessity of our programs; there is a great need of non-profit charitable associations who deal with this problem in Saint Petersburg. Lack of governmental financing delays the development of such initiatives. In the meantime, many associations and medical societies prove the efficiency of treatment by this method. The hippotherapy is often the only possible way of treatment, when all standard remedies turn out to be inefficient.

Chairman of the board of the Centre «Sunny Island» Vladislav Samarsky

Direktor of the Centre «Sunny Island» Olga Sochevanova