Leg Up Therapeutic Riding Center was established in 2007 in Pulaski, Tennessee. Since then, the organization has grown exponentially. Leg Up began with three donated horses, twenty volunteers and two riders. Just four years later, the center boasts five horses, over one hundred volunteers and nearly twenty riders.
Leg Up was founded by Rebecca McManus. After retiring from teaching (she was a special education teacher for 20 years), Rebecca wanted to continue her career as an educator by sharing her love of horses with individuals with special needs. To meet this goal she developed a portion of her family’s farm to accommodate equine-assisted activities. This included constructing new paddocks, adding a fenced-in arena and building a barn that met ADA accessibility guidelines.
After three years of hard work developing programs, maintaining facilities and training volunteers, the organization earned an exciting honor. In 2011 Leg Up Therapeutic Riding Center was recognized as a Premier Accredited Center by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA), the national organization that determines “best practices” for the field of therapeutic riding. This acknowledgement is very important to Leg Up because the center strives to meet the needs of its participants with an eye towards the highest standard.
Beyond the day-to-day running of the facility or winning awards, Leg Up is about creating a fun learning environment and fostering a sense of fellowship. Since its inception the center has enjoyed the support of the neighboring communities and it is because of this support that so many of the center’s goals have come to fruition. Local businesses and individuals (from banks to restaurants; from lawyers to musicians) have generously donated their time, energy and resources to help Leg Up achieve success. Their ongoing support allows the organization to maintain and develop its established standards, programs and services.