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Tuff Therapeutic Riding Foundation History

Tuff Therapeutic Riding Foundation was established to provide therapeutic riding for youth at risk in the GTA, empowering them to change their lives. Initially the program started in 2001 and was run in partnership with Youthdale Treatment Centres.  Since 2020 Tuff Therapeutic Riding Foundation was established as a registered charity using the same program model, but a new name. The program was designed using a 10 week model that has been specifically tailored to youth at risk. Our youth are referred from Child Welfare, and Mental health organizations within Southern Ontario & the Toronto area, including Pine River Institute & Covenant House, Dufferin Child and Family Services.  We serve youth who are struggling with mental health issues, addictions, the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and those who have been victims of sex trafficking.

The Foundation was named after Ellen’s horse Tuff who worked in the very beginning in 2001. Tuff was a very special horse who took the time with his riders and showed them compassion, understanding and in particular a great sense of humor. He loved his kids. Tuff passed away in 2010 and like his Registered Quarter Horse name “ A Special Legacy”, Tuff has left a special legacy of his name and his work with our kids.

Please see the attached videos, a deeper look at our program with our partners at Pine River Institute as well as coverage from CBC The National from 2016. 

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