Bonavista woman forms therapeutic riding group

Not-for-profit hopes to be operating by next spring

Published on March 17, 2017

From left to right, Cassidy Gough, Leah Gough, and Virginia Tremblett-Gough, with horse Trigger.

©Vicki Hicks

A Bonavista woman is making strides to establish therapeutic horseback riding in the area.

Virginia Tremblett-Gough is now the executive director and founder of Spirit Riders Therapeutic Association Inc., a recently formed not-for-profit organization based out of Bonavista.


Tremblett-Gough explained to TC Media that the goal of the organization is to offer therapeutic riding to individuals living with disabilities, free of charge. She says that the organization is something she has wanted to form for years, but, as owner and operator of two restaurants in the area, never had the time to do so.


“After I sold Mary Brown’s, I figured, ‘I always wanted to do this, so I’ll try it!’” Tremblett-Gough explained.


She says that the operation is currently in the start-up phase. 


The organization is currently fundraising to build an arena — their first major fundraising project is a Chase the Ace at Discovery Collegiate in Bonavista on April 22. The event is sponsored by Clarenville Hickman Motors.


“As soon as we get the funds, the building is going up,” said Tremblett-Gough.


She also told TC Media that she has arranged for instructors to travel to Guelph, Ont. to become certified instructors through the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA), a registered charity that not only offers therapeutic riding, but also education and instructor certification.


“I’m really looking forward to being able to serve the public and provide these services,” said Tremblett-Gough.


The organization hopes they will be able to begin providing services next spring, with the arena built by next summer.


For more information, you can visit their website at website



What is therapeutic riding?

According to Spirit Riders Therapeutic Association website, therapeutic riding is “horseback riding that provides an experience that contributes to the overall well being of those suffering from a wide range of conditions ranging from ADD, anxiety, autism, dementia, mental development delays, down syndrome, people with cognitive, physical, emotional and mental conditions can all benefit."