Rainbow Volunteer of the Month for May is Julie Baldwin.


Julie has been a resident of Northern Virginia area for 20 years. She learned about Rainbow while working in a local high school, and came out to train in August of 2017.

In spite of her busy schedule at home, Julie volunteers for multiple lessons each week as a sidewalker. Sidewalkers have the important job of walking alongside the rider, providing support if needed. She has always enjoyed working with children, but being around horses is a new experience for Julie. She has really enjoyed learning about them, and has even taken up riding lessons at a local lesson barn.

Thank you, Julie, for your continued support at Rainbow. We are glad you are enjoying your volunteer experience while making it possible for others to enjoy and benefit from therapeutic riding!

Remember Rainbow in Your Year End Giving

Dear Friend of Rainbow,


     Will you make a Holiday donation so Rainbow can continue serving local disabled children, at-risk youth, and wounded soldiers? 

     To keep the doors open, I count on kind and generous friends like you — friends who understand the magic that occurs when a cognitively disabled, autistic, or otherwise impaired child bonds with a horse… 

     … or, when a soldier suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury (TBI) spends time with a gentle animal that offers unconditional love…

     … or, when a young soldier missing his right arm and lower leg received a boost to his confidence as he straddled a horse (imagine that for a second)…

     Every week, I see little miracles — and I wish you could too!

     Like the young patient who made the transition from life in an institution to independent living — partly thanks to the confidence he gained from riding…

     And, that moment when an autistic child realized his horse was “listening” to him…

     With YOUR help we have been able to reach PREMIER ACCREDITED status which few therapeutic riding centers have accomplished. It demonstrates that Rainbow delivers equine-assisted therapy on the highest standard! We were able to expand the Rainbow programs to reach many more deserving individuals who rely on the alternative therapy programs. Thank you for that! 

     We now need your help again to support the growing need. With our programs expanding into behavioral challenges and help for at-risk youth we need the donations from generous individuals like you. Imagine that with our work we can prevent one child from being bullied, one more child being able to graduate from school, one veteran choosing a way out of depression rather than self-harm. We don’t only touch lives; we change lives – One Hoof Beat at a Time!

     Here’s an amazing fact: We’ve been able to enroll about 29 more children and young adults to the program over the last 12 months and, today, we serve about 90 children each week!  And, in the same period, about 28 service members from Walter Reed have participated in our program!

     There is no way we could pass along the true cost of the service we provide to the families and soldiers we serve; they simply could not afford it.  So, both our growth and the cost of maintaining the program are only possible because friends like you donate the funds needed to keep our doors open and help enrich the lives of these children and soldiers through their bond with the horses and they therapeutic work they do with them. 

     Today, we are running in the black — but, as we end one year and enter the new one, I’m asking for your continued support.

     Almost every day, your gift will produce small triumphs and help reach tremendous goals.  

     To continue supplying these services I need your help!

     This is our most important fundraising appeal of the year, and your gift goes right to the bottom line.  Every penny you donate goes directly towards feeding and housing our wonderful, loving horses and other essential expenses.

     Fact is, we are 100% dependent on donations to make ends meet — a humbling and sometimes precarious existence that requires me to ask you for help as we close the year…

     I hope I can count on you to make a special year-end holiday gift of $25, $50, $35 or even more.

     Regardless, I want to wish you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and the warmest thanks for your past support!


Inga Janke, Executive Director   

P.S. Remember, most of the children and soldiers we help would not be able to benefit from this program if we passed along the full cost to them.   You can see how a gift of $25 or $30 or even $100 can really help — and why we need continued support in order to keep our doors open.

Your gift will help provide the services that benefit so many local children — and the wounded veterans who find this program so helpful in their recovery.  I’m counting on your help!



Rainbow Volunteer of the Month for May is Valerie Yeakle.


Valerie came to Rainbow to volunteer in May of this year.   A social worker in the ER at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Valerie received her Master's in Social Work from George Mason University in 2016.  She lived in California for a couple years. While there, she volunteered with J.F Shea Therapeutic Riding Center in San Juan Capistrano.  Valerie fell in love with therapeutic riding, and is interested in becoming a PATH instructor someday. She started riding at Shenandoah River Farm in Strasburg, Virginia when she was 12,  and worked at the stables, helped to train horses, and helped manage the barn for about seven years. Valerie also owned her own horse in high school; a Percheron named " Petite V" (pictured here).

Valerie says:  “What I like best as a volunteer is seeing the joy that riding brings the students at Rainbow.   It makes it all worthwhile. Volunteering at Rainbow has easily become my favorite part of the week and I'm so grateful that I am able to be a part of the team here.”

We are grateful too, for your help, Valerie!  Thank you for joining our volunteer family here at Rainbow Therapeutic Riding!


Rainbow Volunteer of the Month for May is Anna Sauls.


Anna came to Rainbow as soon as she was old enough to volunteer at the Center.  After completing volunteer training, she began right away helping with lessons as a sidewalker.  She also has helped with barn chores, summer camps and with our Fall Open House and outdoor concert.  

Currently a senior at Battlefield High School, Anna plans to study clinical neuroscience while continuing to volunteer after graduation.

Anna is  a regular sidewalker on our busy Wednesday afternoon team.   Students and instructors alike appreciate Anna’s reliability and her  quiet confidence. At home, Anna enjoys hiking, cooking and playing video games.

Thank you, Anna for your help over the past few years! We’re so glad you’re a part of our Rainbow Volunteer Family!  


Rainbow Volunteer of the Month for May is Carol Bachmann.


Carol came to our Volunteer Training in February of this year.  She jumped right in helping in any way she could; Sidewalking, barn chores as well as helping with our Fun Show.  Carol writes about her volunteer experience:

“I have been blessed in more ways than I can count.  After retiring from 44 years of various forms of government service, I wanted to give back.  I’ve loved horses all my life. I knew of therapeutic riding places through watching “Horses that Heal” on Ride TV.  When we moved to Haymarket last year, I did some online research to see what places might be nearby. As luck would have it, Rainbow turned out to be 10 minutes from my house.  I visited Rainbow one day, and loved what I saw. I signed up for training in February, and it took off from there. I love every minute of being at Rainbow, whether I’m doing barn chores, sidewalking, or just visiting the horses and staff.  I get to feel those soft noses in my hand and see the smile on a child’s face. That’s worth everything.”

Thank you Carol for all your hard work and dedication!


Dear Rainbow Students, Families, and Friends of the Program,


I am a parent of a disabled child who rode at Rainbow Center for over 20 years. My family has seen Rainbow transform from a small, seasonal, outdoor program on a leased farm to the wonderful full-time program at its beautiful permanent home. I really understand what an impact it has had on my child’s life, as well as all the other riders Rainbow has served including children, young adults, at-risk youth and wounded services personnel coming from Walter Reed Medical Center. We are truly lucky to have such a wonderful organization in our community. Recently Inside NOVA announced Rainbow Center as the best equestrian facility in Prince William County again, for the third year in a row.

I would like to talk to you briefly about the Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center Fun SHow scheduled for April 28th, 2018. As most of you know, the tuition we pay for lessons covers only a portion of the total costs. In fact, less than half of Rainbow Center’s revenues come from tuition and other program income. The remainder must come from donations and fundraising. In some cases, Rainbow Center provides scholarships to offset tuition costs for riders who otherwise could not ride, and that too requires fundraising.

Rainbow Center holds several fundraisers a year to help make up the difference. But only one, the fun Show, is really specific in asking the Rainbow Families to solicit help. Rainbow is in more need of a successful Fun Show than ever in order to sustain existing programs and grow new ones. So I would like to urge you to do two things:

  1. Come to the event with your rider and have fun!

  2. Please try to get pledges to help support the fundraising goal of the event.

The intent of this fundraiser is not to place an additional burden on our families to contribute money who simply cannot afford it. There are some who can and are welcome to, but the success of this fundraiser lies elsewhere. The goal of the Fun Show fundraiser is for you to seek help from friends, family and especially professionals and businesses that you know to sponsor your rider’s participation. Please emphasize how important Rainbow Center is to you and the disabled individuals that benefit. Please sign up as many sponsors are you can. Thank you for helping make this a successful Fun Show. It is very important to our program. And please don’t forget to come and enjoy the special events of the day.

Yours Truly,

Bob Fini