Hinchinbrook Farm was started by Patricia McGill in 2007 to provide therapeutic riding to mentally challenged children and specifically to offer family-focussed play therapy to families with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Ms. McGill was and still is a certified therapeutic riding instructor and had worked at this profession in Québec before moving to Lunenburg County. In 2010, she decided that to make the program work, it would have to be run by a registered charity, which she formed with the help of her original volunteer parents and community leaders (Hinchinbrook Farm Society). There is a volunteer Board of Directors. Patricia leases her personal hobby farm to the Society for $1 per year. To read Patty’s account of how Hinchinbrook got started, including the wonderful story of Colin, please click this link>>
The program has 4 therapy horses, and 2 miniature horses who are trained to pull a horse cart. The focus is on fun for the children, but all of the programs are designed to enable them to work through their disabilities and learn to cope with the world around them.
In 2018 the program had 51 volunteers and serves 40 children on the Therapeutic Riding Program and 25 families in the Pony Play-date program. This is twice the number who participated in 2012. (It is estimated that 1 of 68 children in North America have autism.)