About LDEC

Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center

Located in Powhatan, Virginia, LDEC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Virginia organization. Our mission is to service the special needs of Veterans, in Central Virginia, through therapeutic riding and equine-related activities.
Our goal is to improve muscle tone, balance and mobility of our physically disabled Veterans, while providing mental stimulation, enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. At the same time we want to create an enjoyable experience for all of our participants. Our services are provided at no cost to the veterans in the belief that they have already paid by their service to our country.

LDEC started its program in January, 2008 with three riders twice a month. Since that time, LDEC has placed over 1400 Veterans on horseback with outstanding results. LDEC has been receiving Veterans from McGuire Hospital, Sitter and Barfoot.

LDEC has expanded its program to three levels of horsemanship. Level I is when the Veterans first come out, they do not know what they are capable of due to their injuries. Level 2 is when they have learned to ride independently, can join our Drill Team and participate in Flag presentations. Level 3 is when they have gained skills and confidence to compete in local horse shows.

Our Facility

We have an indoor riding arena with a mounting ramp for use by wheelchair-bound and physically challenged Veterans. A viewing area is provided for those wishing to watch friends and family ride. Attached to the indoor arena is an air-conditioned and heated lounge for the comfort of the Veterans. It is also where we serve a complimentary lunch to them whenever we ride indoors.

Outside, we have a covered picnic area where we can cook and serve lunch to the Veterans on warm and sunny days. This area overlooks the outdoor riding ring and provides a sheltered area for Veterans, volunteers and therapists to watch our riders in action.

For a small donation, both areas can be leased for Weddings, Social Gatherings, Fund Raisers, or Auctions. Call 804-357-0249 to speak with someone about leasing at Lonsome Dove.

The LDEC Team

It takes special people to keep LDEC running smoothly. Our team of volunteers spend hours coaching, cooking, preparing the facility and assisting Veterans. It’s fun and rewarding. Join us – view our volunteer positions.

LDEC Events

In addition to the Veterans Riding Sessions, LDEC is involved in many events around Central Virginia. Learn more about our schedule and how to register for upcoming events by clicking here.

Our Horses

The horses at LDEC are specially trained to provide a safe and therapeutic ride to our Veterans. Patient, gentle and loving, these horses earn a special place in the hearts of their riders. Learn more about them by clicking here.