Addressing the Physically Challenged in Indian River County

Special Equestrians Logo

Special Equestrians Of The Treasure Coast (SETC) is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization providing educational and therapeutic horseback riding for the physically challenged in Indian River County.

Located at 7280 53rd Street, Vero Beach, SETA has, since 1992, provided therapeutic horseback riding for children and adults who are challenged by Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral palsy, Spina Bifida, Strokes, Diabetes, and other conditions affecting muscles and speech.

Many riders are unable to control their arms and legs and are among scores of people in Indian River County burdened by mental, developmental, physical and emotional disabilities.

The program fosters personal achievement through equine assisted activities and therapy for individuals with special needs in a safe and stimulating environment.

holding hands

To a child or adult with a physical, developmental or emotional disability, life looks a lot brighter on horseback.  The power and warmth of a horse strengthens and tones muscles, improves balance, head control and coordination, building patience and self-esteem and offers a sense of freedom and equality.

Horseback riding gently and rhythmically stimulates the human gait, so riders with physical disabilities improve their flexibly and muscle strength.

In one case a student with Spina Bifida learned how trot on her own.  Spina Bifida is congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbone. It often causes paralysis of the lower limbs, and sometimes mental handicap.

This is my friend Natalie.  At birth her parents were told Natalie would never walk or talk.


Look how happy she is…

Natalie enrolled in the SETC program at age four and is now nine. Largely because of the program, she now walks and sits up straight in the saddle.

When the students want the horse to start walking they say: “walk on.” Now Natalie can say “wa.”

Natalie and Mom

Natalie and her mom, who says Natalie looks forward to her Saturday lessons all week

and is so happy to be up on a horse.

(photos are provided with approval from Natalie’s mom)

Please visit the Special Equestrians of The Treasure Coast at:

For more information call 772-562-7603 or email Tiffany McLaughlin at:

As with any non-profit, SETA needs continuous financial support. Please think of SETA when you consider your planned giving.

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