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Our mission is to provide equine activities that promote the health and well being of individuals with physical and emotional challenges. We work in partnership with the horse, the students/families, and therapists to create activities that support individual goals and to build a trusting supportive relationship with each student.
Our vision was to have a small program, with superb instructors, horses and volunteers, that combined their efforts to ensure that each equine session had a positive impact on the student.
We believe that our team has realized this vision and in the coming years we look forward to interacting with our students and their families as we continue to grow our programs and facilities.
Our program provides 45 minute therapeutic riding lessons to physically and mentally disabled individuals (the current enrollment is primarily children). Specifically, the riders are on a horse for 30 minutes, which has many benefits. These include: improvement in balance, coordination, flexibility and fine and gross motor skills, increased ability to connect to self and others, development of trust in self and others, increased sense of accomplishment and self esteem, language and learning development, and social development. The remaining 15 minutes of the lesson is dedicated to caring for the horse, brushing it, feeding it, watering it, and placing it back in its stall. This helps teach responsibility, it reminds the rider that these are living animals who have needs similar to their own. Most importantly it builds self-esteem and independence as they are caring for something, when their whole life they have been the one needing to be cared for.
Our lessons are modeled after the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) guidelines. Our students work with NARHA certified instructors, one of our gentle equines and dedicated volunteers.
We have had amazing results. One child began when she was just two years old, having cerebral palsy. After about a month of lessons her parents explained that her therapists and doctors were amazed at her core strength. For the first time she was able to stand independently and her progress has continued since.
There are not many programs providing therapeutic riding, but given the benefits and the high barrier to entry (the cost of horses, barns and insurance is high), there are not many that are formed. This has created a situation where there are up to one year wait lists for children wanting to benefit from this therapy. There is plenty of demand, and having our program has taken individuals who were on wait lists at other programs and given them immediate benefits of riding.
Our services can last as long as an individual would like to participate. Typically, once someone starts, they never stop because they love it so much.
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