Project ASTRIDE began in 1986 with 3 horses, 6 riders and 1 instructor. Currently the program owns 5 horses, serves over 60 riders and has 4 instructors.
In 1986 it became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is registered with the Charities Division of the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office.
A Chronological History:
1986: Don Holden, Mollie Wise and Ruth Schutz served as the first board of PA. Teresa Johnson was the first instructor to teach for PA. The pilot program served 6 riders, borrowed 3 horses, had 1 instructor and had 12 volunteers. On-site NARHA representatives initially accredited the center. (valid for 5 years).
19861995:Avon Hills Quarter Horses served as the host facility.
1996: PA moves to Hillcrest Stables through October 2003. Opportunity for number of riders increases to 36. PA owns 2 horses and leases 6 more. Volunteer number increases to 30. Riders served are 3 years to elderly adult.
2004: Program expands to 8 classes per session on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (2 group classes) and Wednesday days (2-3 private or semi-privates). Center has the ability to serve approximately 60 riders. PA owns 4 horses, has 3 certified instructors and moves to One Time Farm.
2006: 20th Anniversary of PA. Open house is held in June and is the culmination of the 2nd annual raffle drawing. PA accepts one horse for donation and retires another. PA now owns 5 horses and leases 1 more. There are 56 rider slots available. PA is awarded a grant of $5,000 to participate in the Initiative Foundation’s Healthy Organization’s Partnership program.
2007: PA moves (back) to Avon Hills Paints & Quarterhorses. Program owns 5 horses and has 60+ riders.
2015: PA moves to Enchanted Acres, a property just north of Sartell/east of St. Stephen, that is owned by Jesse and Mary Spaeth.