Dear Prospective CARD Rider and Parents/Guardians,
Thank you for your inquiry about the Community Association for Riders with Disabilities.
What is CARD?
The Community Association for Riders with Disabilities (CARD) is a charitable, non-profit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding. CARD offers a variety of therapeutic horseback riding programs for both children and adults, including programs with a focus on physical rehabilitation, adapted sport and educational rehabilitation. CARD also offers a Mounted Physiotherapy program which is conducted by a registered physiotherapist.
CARD operates six days per week with the help of about three hundred volunteers, certified therapeutic riding instructors, and a small staff.
The CARD Therapeutic Riding Program consists of different types of classes with varying goals depending on the needs to the individual riders.
Through CARD’s endless fundraising efforts, we are able to keep costs at a minimum for our new riders with CARD subsidizing over 70% of the actual cost of riding for each rider.
How do I become a CARD Rider?
To participate in CARD’s therapeutic riding program, a rider must be at least 4 years of age and under 160 Lbs (73 kg).
The process for acceptance into the CARD program is a two-step process involving completion of the new rider application package and a program intake assessment, conducted on-site.
The process is as follows:
- Complete and return the registration, liability release and consent forms.
- Have your family physician complete and sign the Medical Referral Form.
- Complete and return the Rider Medical Referral Form.
- Attach a cheque for $100 – payable to CARD – to cover the cost of the program intake assessment.
Please note, the entire New Rider package is available for download using the links below. From there you can print the entire package or choose only the forms you need.
Return all completed forms to:
CARD New Rider Application
4777 Dufferin Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3H 5T3
Once we have received your completed application forms, they will be reviewed by the CARD staff.
Please be aware that there are several contraindications and precautions to participating in a therapeutic riding program and that the programs offered at CARD may not be suitable and/or beneficial to your specific situation.
Once your application has been reviewed and you are deemed an appropriate candidate for one of CARD’s programs, you will be contacted by someone from CARD to book an Intake Assessment.
If you are not a suitable candidate, CARD will inform you as to the reason why.
Please note that there is a $100, non-refundable fee for the Intake Assessment, payable in advance. Please also be aware that completion of the Intake Assessment does not guarantee acceptance into the CARD program.
Following the assessment, if it is deemed that the riding program at CARD is a suitable and safe form of therapy for you, you will be admitted to the CARD riding program. Recommendations are made regarding which classes would be most suitable for you, based on your assessment outcomes.
Regular evaluations by a Certified Riding Instructor and/or registered therapist is a mandatory component of your ongoing participating in the CARD program.
As with all therapy programs, there is a specific process for re-evaluation of your progress, therapy goals, medical status and continued participation in the CARD program.
If at any time your status changes and you present with any contraindications or safety concerns for the therapeutic riding program you will not be able to continue to participate in the CARD program.
We look forward to helping you benefit from the special therapeutic riding program CARD has to offer.
Director of Therapeutic Riding Services
Step 1: Obtain a New Rider Package. You have 3 options:
CLICK HERE to download the PDF forms and print from home.
CLICK HERE to email our office to request one be sent to you by email.
Call us at 416-667-8600 ext. 0 to make arrangements to pick one up or be sent one by regular mail.
Step 2: Have your General Physician complete the Medical Referral form.
Step 3: Have your therapist (PT, OT, SLP) complete the Therapist Input form.
Step 4: Fill in the new rider contact form and send it to CARD along with medical and therapist forms.
Step 5: CARD will contact you to book an assessment with our staff. Please note, the cost of the assessment is $100.00
Step 6: Intake assessment at the CARD facility. This includes a tour, trying on a helmet and watching the mechanical block operate. It does not include touching or riding the horses. You will be advised at the end of the appointment whether participation in the CARD program is appropriate, and if so, registration information for the next available classes will be provided.