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Sharing our Expertise in China, World Affairs Council

Marita Wassman, Ride On St. Louis CEO & Founder
Marita Wassman, Ride On St. Louis CEO & Founder

We're dedicated to service in many ways including one of our favorite service objectives--education. Over our near quarter of a century existence, we've presented locally, regionally and nationally on topics from disability awareness, to adaptive exercises, to creating a robust volunteer program. But recently we've had an opportunity to be involved with an international audience in China.

The World Affairs Council of St. Louis is the local coordinator for the International Visitor Leadership Program--the US State Department’s premier educational/diplomatic exchange programs. The programs provide experienced, high level international visitors with a professional exchange with US counterparts in their respective fields.

Ride On St. Louis provided an overview on equine-assisted services and our unique community offerings. Our presentation was part of the Animal Welfare and Rights Advocacy for China, and was presented to a global audience. The program was in Chinese for the international visitors, and simultaneous interpretation was provided for ease of communication and conversation.

Ride On St. Louis was one of three agencies in the US honored to present at this program on the topic of how animals provide therapeutic benefits to people. The other presenting agencies included Victory Service Dogs (CO Springs) and K9s for Warriors (Jacksonville, Florida).

Marita Wassman, Ride On St. Louis CEO and Founder, joined the Animal Welfare Panel and spoke on equine-assisted service methodology, benefits, research initiatives and best practices. The presentation was followed by a Q&A. "What a beautiful presentation of the wonderful work that Ride On St. Louis does, such important work in the duty of caring," Marta Pereyma, US State Department.

Thank you to the World Affairs Council in St. Louis and the International Visitor Leadership Program for allowing us to take part in this international event. Interested in learning more or booking a speaking engagement? Contact us at

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