For the past few years, I have enrolled disadvantaged children into the Timmins Therapeutic Riding program. The results of this authentic program have been incredible.

Under the expert tutelage of Lydia Dubanow and staff, I have watched my students progress through grooming, leading, driving, and riding horses, all the while establishing warm, controlled relationships with these animals. Through these bonds, I have watched my students develop self-esteem, compassion, and leadership skills; after every visit, the kids invariably are calm and at peace with themselves and others. It really is an emotional salve for ravaged nerves (including those of the teacher!).
t is truly an informative and therapeutic experience.

Karl Laiho
DSB1 teacher


In 2004, our world fell apart. Our beautiful five year old, after months of testing, was diagnosed with having an extreme anxiety disorder. Our lives were turned upside down as we tried to find ways to help our little girl find ways of dealing with her feelings as she went through life. The Timmin’s Therapeutic Riding Association was there to help us get started on this long, rocky road. In the years since joining, our daughter has gone from being a terrified, clingy child with all the joys that anxiety brings with it– such as night terrors, sleep walking, not eating, many tears, etc.—to a beautiful, more confident young lady who will soon be going off to University. The program helped her realize that she could face fears and tackle new challenges. It helped give her much needed confidence, and the rapport she developed with each horse as she grew with the program helped to calm her runaway thoughts and find inner peace. We can’t thank Lydia, Patty, Char, Jean and the many wonderful volunteers enough for helping our girl find her way. What they taught her at the stables has made its way into her everyday life. We are blessed to have been able to be a part of this program.

Sincerely, R.T. and L.T.