Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center

Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center

2021 Community Building Award Recipient

What do you get when you combine two passionate women, a team of 6 carefully trained and award-winning horses, and 20 volunteers per week in a stunning 5-acre Whatcom County farm setting?  

You get our next award winner – the Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center.  This local nonprofit organization is directed by Julia Bozzo, with assistance from Hilary Groh. Together, they provide adaptive recreation services for 31 clients each week, who learn a lot from the horses about physical movement, communication, and emotional regulation, all the while building confidence from being in control of a powerful animal.

The riding staff focuses on what clients can do, and builds from there, which they say often results in a shift of perspectives for all involved.  Consider how different it feels for a girl who is typically in a wheelchair, when others look up at her and she gazes down on them—a literal change that can result in a cascade of positive effects.  Or contemplate the life-changing outcome for a young boy who started as a client 20 years ago and is now serving as a volunteer who teaches other volunteers how to do their jobs better! 

For this inspiring work that brings so many community members from different backgrounds together, I am pleased to present a 2021 Community Building Award to the Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center.

To watch the 24th Annual Ken Gass Community Building Awards in which Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center is recognized, click here.