TROT receives national attention

Published 10:06 am Thursday, January 25, 2018

TRYON – Horse Nation, an online, worldwide horse related magazine, recently recognized Therapeutic Riding of Tryon (TROT) for their “Standing Ovation” spotlight.  

Sponsored by Ovation Riding, a manufacturer of riding apparel, the Standing Ovation award goes to an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. TROT is in good company as other organizations that have been recognized include equine rescue groups such as the national Homes for Horses Coalition, The Brooke, in Kenya, Africa and the ASPCA’s Help a Horse Day. 

Other groups recognized in 2017 include those designed to help equestrians in need, such as the Equestrian Aid Foundation, the USEF Disaster Relief Fund, Horsemen Step Up to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims and Help Puerto Rico’s Horses in Maria Aftermath. Therapeutic riding groups recognized in 2017 include the Man O’ War Project, PATH International and Lead–Up International.  

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TROT is a program of the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE). Their goal is to teach horsemanship skills in order to change and enrich the lives of adults and children with physical, cognitive, developmental and emotional challenges. 

Inspired by Norm Powers in 2004, TROT depends on local horse owners to volunteer their horses for the lessons. TROT Director Allison Rhyne says this unusual approach for supplying mounts helps keep TROT more sustainable. In addition to supplying equine and human volunteers, the Foothills area horse community also donates equipment and supplies to keep the program going.  

Nathan waves to his fan club during the annual December TROT horse show at FENCE. (photo by Sheila Veatch)

TROT’s students are as young as 6 years old and range in age up to adults in their mid 50s. They include residents from Polk, Rutherford, Henderson, Greenville, and Spartanburg counties of  North and South Carolina. Their students suffer from a variety of conditions including challenges ranging from autism to traumatic brain injury.  

TROT offers 10-week sessions of lessons in the spring and the fall, serving 32 to 35 students a session. Their funding comes, in part, from FENCE’s developmental plan. Other sources include donations, support from area equestrians and fundraising equestrian events. Many of the funds are used for scholarships for  students who otherwise would be unable to participate. 

For more information about donating or volunteering, contact TROT at To view the Standing Ovation on Horse Nation visit