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Reflections Therapeutic Riding was formed in 2013 to empower and improve the lives of people with cognitive, psychological and physical disabilities through the benefits of equine assisted activities and therapies.
This is an expansion of an existing program that has been provided to existing students. The existing program consisted of at risk youth and able bodied riders. Contining these services and adding service to a variety of therapeutic riders such as, but not limited to, Alzheimer’s patients, and a veterans riding program will further assist a larger population of people who can benefit from equine assisted activities and therapy. Services to Greeley, Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Windsor, Eaton, Ault, Severance, Pierce, Nunn, and other surrounding areas, possibly even as far as Sterling areoffered. Partners Mentoring Youth and other similar programs have been contacted and specific programs are currently being designed for them. There is also a program being designed for home school groups. The Veterans Affairs in Cheyenne, Fort Collins, Greeley, and Sterling are being contacted and informed of the veterans program. Scholarship requests will be sought so that Reflections can provide all of these programs to as many people as possible even though they may not be able to afford it. We will also make contact with OT, PT, and other therapy providers to offer our services and secure clients. Another program offered is beginning equine education and clinics to the general public.
Therapeutic Riding has multiple benefits including both physical and social. Students engage in horseback riding that contributes to positive cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of people with and without disabilities. This is achieved through teaching horsemanship skills to riders.
The 3-dimensional gait of the horse closely simulates the movement of the human pelvis and is a valuable therapeutic tool. The movement and warmth of the horse promote physical benefits including increased circulation, relaxation of tight muscles promoting greater flexibility, strengthening of weak muscles, increased strength in pelvic & trunk mobility, development of balance and coordination and improvement in posture, improved in self-confidence and building self-esteem. Riders must also plan what is next and use hand-eye coordination to facilitate the desired result. Riders require planning and patience to achieve their goals which will follow through to other decision making goals for life.
Interactive activities in a group setting promote socialization, increase in vocalization and attention span. Each rider has short and long term therapeutic riding objectives which are monitored and measured to meet and challenge riders’ abilities.
To achieve these benefits Reflections Therapeutic Riding offers therapeutic riding. All therapeutic riding instructors on staff are or will be certified through PATH International and may hold other certifications.
- CJ Donovan
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