MTRA Ongoing Pandemic Response
At Marion Therapeutic Riding Association (“MTRA”), the health and safety of our equine-assisted community is our top priority. That includes our staff and volunteers, our families, and, of course, you. In this time of uncertainty around the coronavirus (COVID-19), we encourage you to stay informed—as are we—with the latest information and guidance from the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization.
We’re making some immediate changes to how we work to keep our staff, volunteers, and their families safe and healthy. Extensive precautions are being taken, as we must remember that we also have a great responsibility to the horses on the property that make this therapeutic community what it is today. While things are running smoothly so far, it is our communication and caring attention to details that will keep us on course during these times and the “new normal”.
We’ll be updating this page with any news & procedures that go into practice here at MTRA. Helping people thrive is part of our mission, and we’re committed to it. We’re in this together, and we’ll get through this together.
Marion Therapeutic Riding Association
With MTRA classes having been temporarily suspended since mid-March, we have been striving to stay connected and stay safe through the COVID-19 Pandemic. We have started a Facebook Group titled “Horsin’ Around School Days at MTRA,” which has a multitude of lesson topics and short videos posted by our Therapeutic Riding Instructor Team. Our Executive Director, Pamela Morrison, has been hosting “MTRA Bedtime Stories” nightly at 7 PM, which are posted to our MTRA YouTube Channel and also shared on Facebook. Most recently, we have also begun a series of Meet & Greet Interviews on Mondays shared to our YouTube Channel and Facebook as well. These interviews will share a little about the interviewee and their perspective experience with therapeutic horseback riding and equine-assisted activities. The interviewees will showcase riders, caregivers, instructors, case managers, board members, and more as our programming takes a village and impacts the village!
In response to the pandemic and recognizing the need to resume services and serve the clients we work with, MTRA has put together a taskforce of staff, board members, medical personnel, and volunteers to address development of new infectious disease policy and procedures in order to allow us to safely re-open. As we moved into June, MTRA slowly began re-introducing volunteers in phases implementing new procedures and training to follow CDC and health recommendations in order to prevent spread of COVID-19. The initial phases are going well, and MTRA is seeking to continue forward in reconnecting also with our riders.
Initially, we will have one-on-one meet and greet grooming sessions with horses on the ground for all riders on an appointment-only basis initially. We will follow that with a pilot program, selecting a small group of riders and offering one-on-one horseback lessons for those riders needing minimal support, while still allowing for social distancing and safety. MTRA will work with the horses only and begin preparing them for fall sessions during the month of August, and presuming the COVID-19 pandemic does not impede the continuation of one-on-one classes or smaller groups, we will plan to begin our fall session as scheduled in mid-September 2020.