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About CanTRA

Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association
CanTRA was founded in 1980. The Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) is a registered charity that promotes challenge, achievement and empowerment for children and adults with disabilities through the use of the horse. CanTRA also provides education and instructor certification.

There are now 80 plus member centres across Canada providing high quality therapeutic, recreation, life skills and sport programs. CanTRA is a member of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI) and is recognized as the only governing body for therapeutic riding Canada. Each member centre offers a program with a slightly different focus and many medical professionals work with CanTRA to ensure excellence in service delivery. Some centres may offer physical therapy with the therapist using the horse’s movements to influence the body of the rider (Hippotherapy). The majority of centres focus on therapeutic riding to provide socialization. recreation, interaction of clients and horses, and the care of the horse. In addition several of the centres provide life skills training, rehabilitation and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.


CanTRA's Aims and Objectives

  • To promote therapeutic riding for persons with disabilities throughout Canada
  • To establish and maintain standards of horseback riding as a therapeutic, recreational and sports activity in collaboration with the medical profession
  • To provide coaching and horses for riders to experience competitive sport opportunities offered by the Canadian Para Equestrian Committee, a sport discipline of Equine Canada
  • To maintain the highest standards for registered Canadian Therapeutic Riding Instructors
  • To develop standards of program excellence
  • To promote research in all aspects of therapeutic riding
  • To provide mentoring support for student instructors
  • To provide a continuing educational program of seminars and conferences

Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

  • Development of mobility, balance and co-ordination
  • Improvement of muscle tone and strength
  • Increased concentration and improved learning skills
  • A challenging recreational activity
  • Independence, integration and a sense of achievement
  • Development of self confidence and motivation

Member services

  • A National Insurance Policy
  • Annual CanTRA Awards program
  • Equine -Facilitated Wellness program
  • Hippotherapy program
  • Instructor Certification
  • Support Services for candidate instructors
  • Centre Accreditation program
  • Resource Manual for new and established therapeutic riding programs
  • CanTRA Caller and CanTRA Communiqué semi-annual newsletters
  • Information through eBulletins
  • Conferences, Workshops and Seminars

HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne

Our Patron
In 1986, the Princess Royal, Princess Anne, kindly accepted an invitation to become Patron of CanTRA. She is also President of the Riding for the Disabled Association (UK) and Patron of the Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia.

Her Royal Highness combines two major interests in bestowing her patronage on therapeutic riding. She has been President of Save the Children since 1970 and has enjoyed a successful equestrian career, including competing at the 1975 Olympics in Montreal as a member of the British Eventing Team.

The Princess Royal has visited many therapeutic riding programs in Britain and abroad. In 1988, during a visit to Canada that included the Royal Winter Fair, she attended a riding demonstration at CARD (Community Association for Riders with Disabilities) in Downsview, Ontario, hosted by CanTRA.

CanTRA is both proud and grateful to have the Princess Royal as its Patron.

Sponsors and Supporters

Our sincere appreciation to these supporters and to those donors who wish to remain anonymous and to all other donors not posted here who have supported us financially. We also extend our thanks to those individuals who have generously assisted CanTRA with their volunteer time and expertise. More information on sponsorships is available here.