top of page

Celebrating 25 Years of Service!

From 1998, volunteer instructor and OT/A Jane O’Connell demonstrates an exercise for client Libby, riding Diego led by cofounder Marita Wassman.

Together we have forged a fellowship of generosity, love and support at Ride On St. Louis to uplift and inspire one another. One of the most splendid things about our Ride On St. Louis

community is that it enables us to welcome and help each other in ways we could not achieve alone. Prayers, families, clients, donors, dedicated staff, and volunteers give life and

meaning to Ride On St. Louis, and are the reason why we have existed for a quarter of a century now. You are the beating heart of Ride On St. Louis! I could write indefinitely about the power of a touch, a smile, a caring word, listening ears, an honest compliment, or the simplest act of caring that helps transform lives through Ride On St. Louis.

My husband Rick and I founded Ride On St. Louis at our home in South St. Louis County, with a handful of caring people, who all volunteered their creative and professional talents. Our first bank account was opened from funds donated at an impromptu lemonade stand; our bylaws were made, we held our first fundraising event, and outlined a six-week pilot program. Later that year our first grant award arrived August 25th, the feast day of our namesake King Saint Louis IX. Our prayers were being heard and answered. As word spread, demand increased and we needed to expand our herd. A week later, we received a phone call from a family looking to donate the ideal program horse, Golden “Nugget.” That opening year our equine-assisted services delivered un-duplicated programs that achieved successful and meaningful health and quality of life improvements for children and adults with disabilities. 25 years later, we have served more than 2,500 families through God’s guidance and you, our community of faithful friends and family. But it’s more than just clients and families who have made improvements—like speaking first words, improving core strength to control incontinency, repairing relationships, rewiring gait patterns to become more mobile, tackling depression, improving mental capacity, or bettering job skills. I have witnessed, and been told on numerous accounts about the sprawling benefits radiating from new friendships, health opportunities, education, and values shared with those who have involved themselves as donors, volunteers, and supportive family members of benefactors.

Over the years, our clients have made life-changing gains as a result of our programs. These advancements, our organizational accomplishments, accolades, and added certifications fill us with drive and vision for the current programs and the future goals for the Ride On St. Louis Forever Home campaign. I hope you enjoy reading the articles included in this edition, as they reflect the life changing transformations and joy you help deliver. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for your prayers, contributions and continued interest in improving lives

with equine-assisted services.


Marita Wassman

-- To keep reading our 2022 Special Edition click here.

-- To view our 25th Anniversary Gallery click here.

-- To power our programs with your donation, get it matched here.

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page