Our programs are designed to improve muscle tone, balance, and mobility of our physically disabled Veterans while providing mental stimulation, enhanced self-confidence, and self-esteem.
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.
Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center 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.
Each horse at Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center is specially trained to provide a safe and therapeutic ride for our Veterans. Patient, gentle and loving, these horses earn a special place in the hearts of their riders.
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 our guests. 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 and our guests 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.
Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center can be leased for Weddings, Social Gatherings, Fundraisers, or Auctions. Call 804-492-3047 to speak with someone about hosting your next special event Lonesome Dove.
The LDEC Team
It takes special people to keep Lonesome Dove Equestrian Center running smoothly. Our team of volunteers helps by coaching, cooking, preparing the facility and assisting Veterans. It’s fun and rewarding. Click here to learn about our volunteer positions.