Therapeutic Riding of Tri-Cities (TROT) – Unleashing the Potential of Those with Disabilities

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Article by Cynthia MacFarlan

Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) promotes excellence in safety and education by certifying riding instructors, accrediting equine facilities, producing educational conferences, and publishing educational resources, go to www.CHA.Horse for more information. Our member programs are the heartbeat of the association, here is one story.


Cynthia MacFarlan, founder and executive director of Therapeutic Riding of Tri-Cities (TROT), had a dream to pair her love of animals with decades of experience as a speech/language pathologist (SLP). She wanted to help people of all ages with a variety of communication disorders. She knew just how enabling animal-assisted therapy could be, as she had used dogs in her speech therapy treatment with fantastic results.

With a small horse property and two geldings, the dreaming and planning of starting a therapeutic riding center took place and in 2014 she began with four riders. With the support of many talented, powerful, and dynamic people in the community and a lot of hard work while juggling her job as a SLP, TROT evolved.

Fast forward six years, and the growth and development of four programs—Adaptive Riding, Path to Success, Hippotherapy, and Dog Training—has been remarkable. TROT now serves almost 100 riders a year in a new facility in Kennewick, Washington. “My actions have been guided by the belief that God has blessed me with a fabulous space to conduct my dream of providing a safe and enjoyable haven for those in need. It is my highest honor to serve children and families of all background with the same loving grace that has so freely been given to me.”

Their new full-sized arena, lighting, six horses, and office/classroom allow for multiple programs designed for children and adults to learn new skills, develop their abilities, and instill accomplishment.

TROT’s mission is to promote the physical, psychological, and social well-being of people with special needs by providing animal-assisted therapies and activities. TROT is a host site for CHA/IRD (Instructors for Riders with Disabilities) clinics and currently has five CHA certified instructors and one PATH registered instructor. They will be hosting the next CHA/IRD Certification April 2-7, 2022 in Kennewick, WA.


CHA Region One conference at Warm Beach Horsemanship March 3-6, 2022. Register today to attend the Northwest’s best riding instructor event. Find more information about Northwest programs and certifications at


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