Local therapeutic riding center awarded $200,000 grant


Reins to Recovery Inc. Therapeutic Riding Center has received a $200,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help support the equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning programs.

Reins to Recovery, a nonprofit organization based in Seymour, will strive to ensure access to mental health care to youth in surrounding counties, according to a news release from Executive Director Calli Johnson.

“We will offer therapy and learning experiences with the help of our equine team members to promote growth and healing,” she said. “We aim to provide tools learned through equine-assisted programs that can benefit youth at risk, teach life skills that can transfer into day-to-day living, offer a safe place to heal, utilize methods to contribute positively to their mental health and offer skills that will help clients maintain resilience for their future journey.”

The program is being funded through Lilly Endowment’s Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana initiative. The aim of the competitive initiative is to help youth-serving organizations working throughout Indiana improve their abilities to promote the academic, physical and social well-being of young people ages 5 through 18.

“Our goal is to assist in helping youth overcome both mental health and social/behavior barriers,” Johnson said. “We have witnessed an increased need in our area of service. With this grant support, we will be able to offer more mental health sessions to youth at no cost to their families.”

Johnson said Reins is excited to have an opportunity to strengthen its programs offered to youth.

“The need for mental health resources for youth is increasing, and it is a great feeling to have the support of our vision to increase the number of youths served in multiple counties,” she said. “We are grateful that Lilly Endowment recognizes the urgent need for services and chose to invest in Reins to Recovery and our unique programs to help serve youth facing mental health challenges.”

Reins to Recovery is one of 187 organizations receiving grants through Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana.

“Indiana’s youth-serving organizations are crucial to the healthy development of children and youth across the state,” said Ted Maple, Lilly Endowment’s vice president for education. “The challenges these organizations have faced in meeting the needs of young people in recent years have made their work increasingly difficult. Lilly Endowment is pleased to support their efforts to strengthen programs and serve more youth more effectively.”

Lilly Endowment launched the Strengthening Youth Programs in Indiana initiative in 2022 with an invitational round of grants to nine national youth-serving organizations to help them expand and enhance the work of their Indiana affiliates or chapters.

Lilly Endowment Inc. is a private foundation created in 1937 by J.K. Lilly Sr. and his sons, Eli and J.K. Jr., through gifts of stock in their pharmaceutical business, Eli Lilly and Company. While those gifts remain the financial bedrock of the endowment, it is a separate entity from the company with a distinct governing board, staff and location.

Although the endowment funds programs throughout the United States, especially in the field of religion, it maintains a special commitment to its hometown, Indianapolis, and home state, Indiana.

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