Fund the Vision - The Future Afton Facility and Programs

We are happy to share some very exciting news! RVR was awarded a $300,000 matching grant from the FS Foundation which will help fund our next phase of the Afton facility build. The FS Foundation's mission is to foster independence, self reliance, pride of craftsmanship, sense of purpose, and increased access to alternative learning styles for under-resourced adults. 

These Afton site improvements will include the heated office shell with finished bathrooms and observation room, heat for the indoor arena, and a separate mounting area on the south side of arena.  A paved driveway and parking lot are also included in this phase.  This matching grant will double the impact of your donation to the Afton improvement fund for the expansion of services benefiting our riders and drivers. 

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“Fund the Vision” has two important parts - the facility and the programs.

The facility part of our vision is to create a site dedicated to equine assisted activities and therapies. The additional features shown in this design plan include a large indoor arena with observation area, classroom space, therapy rooms, stables for the RVR owned horses, pastures/fences, hay storage building, offices, and living quarters for a caretaker. This facility will provide RVR the opportunity to expand our programming.

RVR is well placed to continue expanding our equine assisted activities and therapies to people with special needs. The Afton location is easily accessed by the Twin Cities metropolitan and western Wisconsin areas which it serves. The equine assisted activities and therapies industry is growing. The benefits of these therapies are becoming increasingly recognized by both medical and mental health professionals. The expanded facilities will enable RVR to accommodate more participants, increasing the offerings of therapeutic riding and carriage driving.

In addition there will be new program opportunities including hippotherapy (with physical therapists, speech pathologists, and occupational therapists), mental health services (with psychologists), veterans’ programs, and equine assisted learning. RVR will also expand our existing partnerships with local schools and create new partnerships with other organizations that provide services for individuals who could benefit from our programs.

RVR has a 20 year history of partnering with local schools. The expanded facilities will allow RVR to increase educational support to the local school districts. RVR’s programs will help the students accomplish goals and objectives in the areas of social skills development, communication, motor strength, fitness and health.

Equine assisted activities and therapies have been shown to be beneficial for people challenged by cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and a variety of mental health issues, such as veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and youth-at-risk. It is easy to understand that many individuals will benefit from the new programs. The outcome of this vision will allow RVR to serve more people. RVR programs will be full-time and year-round. The future of this vision is very exciting! Thank you for your support!

There are a number of ways to make a donation to the Afton improvement fund:

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Make your check for a tax deductible gift payable to River Valley Riders Afton Fund and mail it to River Valley Riders, 8362 Tamarack Village, Suite 119-440, Woodbury, MN 55125

Give a gift of publicly-traded securities to River Valley Riders’ brokerage account. We suggest you discuss the potential tax benefits with your financial advisor and tax accountant.

Make a pledge to give your contribution monthly/quarterly/semi-annually or annually over two/three years.

Contact Kathy Jo Hanson at for additional information about gifts and pledges.