Community Foundation Supports Expansion of Services at Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding

CBFC provides $9,000 for transition support

When Luke, 10, arrived for the first day of summer camp at Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding, he made no eye contact and dragged behind his family, scowling.  Luke, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, quickly informed the staff that his summer was being wasted, he did not like horses, did not want to be on a team with a girl and that no one was to talk down to him.  His first friends at camp were barn cats.

Then Luke met his horse, Bella, who immediately rested her muzzle on his shoulder and sighed.  For the next eight weeks, Luke was her advocate, as well as the advocate for another horse who was injured.  He explained to his human friends what his horses were feeling and asked for help to make them feel better.  For Luke, shifting from anger and sadness to taking care of another and sharing a quiet, easy friendship was life-changing.  During his final presentation to campers and parents, Luke announced that he was surprised that he had actually liked camp very much, and that he was sad it was ending.  His parents told Morning Dove that Luke had finally found a place that made him feel good about himself.

Luke and countless others will benefit from a recent $9,000 grant awarded by the Community Foundation of Boone County to Morning Dove, which offers equine programs to a wide range of participants with physical, mental and/or emotional disabilities.

The organization recently moved from Whitestown to Zionsville, allowing for a major expansion of its programs, which, in addition to the summer program for children on the autism spectrum, include therapeutic riding lessons, hippotherapy and a veteran’s program.

“CFBC is pleased to provide support during this transitional time, allowing Morning Dove to immediately begin serving an additional 30 students each session,” said CFBC Executive Director Mike Caldwell.  “This 40% increase from previous enrollment levels makes it possible for more Boone County residents to benefit from Morning Dove’s impressive programs.  We look forward to seeing the organization continue to grow and flourish.”



The Community Foundation of Boone County is a public charity providing grants to non-profits in Boone County so they may carry out their mission. Since 1991, the foundation has granted over $17 million back to Boone County by connecting people who care to causes that matter to them. Our staff, board members and volunteers work together to ensure donors achieve their philanthropic goals by matching their charitable interests with the community’s needs.