Aiyana Branyik mounts a horse once a week at Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association, surrounded by supporters and instructors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)

VIDEO: Island therapeutic riding program provides social interaction, skills, and fun

Programs such as therapeutic riding, adaptive driving, and stable management offered

Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association (VTRA) is a non-profit riding experience that offers equestrian activities to children and adults with a diverse range of abilities in Greater Victoria.

Horseback riding is known to offer healing socialization for members, said stable management instructor Mary Vincent, and it’s the association’s mission to offer it to as many people in the region as possible.

“The therapeutic side of things really helps with a lot of confidence with special needs kids – we really noticed a difference right away,” said Steven Branyik, an association member who brings his daughter Aiyana to riding lessons once a week.

A range of programs is offered, such as therapeutic riding, adaptive driving and stable management.

Therapeutic riding, also known as adaptive riding, emphasizes the development of riding skills and interaction with horses.

Adaptive driving lessons teach horse-drawn cart-driving skills, and the stable management program is designed to teach participants about horse care and safety in a barn setting.

To learn more about VTRA programs visit