Forward Stride’s Response to the Novel Coronavirus

In these tumultuous times, Forward Stride is working very hard to serve our community as best we can. We are currently opening our programs in a slow, deliberate way so that we can continue to make the health of our clients (and our staff!) a top priority. We have developed protocol lists for our activities and therapies which we are requiring all participants to follow. You can read them below!

The well-being of our whole community is important to us, and this includes those who are still at home! We have compiled some resources for you below. Please peruse and enjoy.

Forward Stride Coloring Pages

As a thank you for helping us to raise much-needed financial support during this crisis, our staff has created a collection of coloring pages featuring the Forward Stride herd! We hope that these will be a fun activity for our clients and their families, and for everyone in our community!

We invite you to print these out, color them at home, and post your creations on social media so we can see! Make sure to tag @forwardstride!

Community Outreach Project

We want to take this opportunity to offer more support and connection with those of you in need, as well as offer an opportunity for those of you who would like to be a part of a community action team offering help to others.

Some people do not have the resources or knowledge to order food online, or medication to be delivered. Others may just need someone to check in with them via email or phone, to have more connection to the world outside of their home.

We discourage any activities that require people to be face to face. We want to stay within the guidelines asking that we maintain physical distancing and stay at home as much as possible.

Whether you need assistance, or would like to offer it, please join our community action team by filling out this form:

If you need help with this form, please leave a voicemail at Forward Stride and someone will call you. Our phone number is (503) 217-2058. You can also email Patricia at patricia.nelson@forwardstride.org.

If you specifically need assistance getting food, the Oregon Department of Human Services has a page of resources in several languages.

Educational Resources

Our Riding Program Coordinator, Patricia Nelson, has pulled together the following resources to help families adjusting to schooling at home!

Hello all,

Wow! School is out in Oregon for at least 6 weeks. Some districts and private schools have implemented distance learning curriculum, others are struggling to figure out how to serve the needs of all of their students. Meanwhile, parents are at home with their kids practicing “social distancing”, which is the opposite of the peer contact that they get with school and team sports.

As a licensed special education teacher in the state of Oregon, and a home instruction specialist for a school district, I have spent a lot of time working with online curriculum. I wanted to offer some ideas for you to try to keep your kids engaged in educational (and a lot of fun) activities.

Patricia Price Nelson, MS SpEd
Riding Program Coordinator/ CTRI Instructor Mentor
Vocational Program Coordinator
PATH Int’l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI)

Online Resources for Equestrians

Riding Program Coordinator Patricia Nelson has collected these fun learning resources for riders and horse-enthusiasts to help keep themselves sharp during our closure!

Intrepid Wellness Group Fitness, mindset, and confidence coaching for equestrians.

Girth Aversion in Horses: Gastric Ulcers Pinpointed Confirms many things we already know.

Sitting On Wobbly Chairs Missing your horse time and worried you will be losing core muscles? Try this exercise on a wobbly chair or an exercise ball.

Adjust Your Body Balance While I do not agree with everything in this article/critique, I think an interesting point is: “starting to ride at a very early age meant that she could not control her horse using strength at all. Instead, she had to learn to use balance and rhythm.”

Arena Letter Memorization A whitty explanation regarding the dressage letters.

Daily Strides Podcast for Equestrians I just started listening to this podcast. The latest is called “Navigating these Unusual Times as an Equestrian” which I found interesting. I will continue to listen to this trainer (I LOVE her accent!) and will recommend podcast episodes as I find them.

Stacy Westfall Championship Bareback & Bridleless Freestyle Reining with Roxy Stacy Westfall’s liberty reining freestyle ride. While we certainly do not recommend that you try this while riding at Forward Stride, I love to use this video to show what time, practice, trust can do for a person and their horse. I also like to use it for those riders who think they need to be heavy handed on the reins to get their horse to turn and stop. And, yes, I wish she were wearing a helmet!

Girl On The Edge – shows the power of horses with a troubled teenage girl who is sent to an alternative healing center in the wilderness