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The 4H Therapeutic Riding Program of Carroll County will provide persons with disabilities the opportunity to benefit from a continuous program of therapeutic horseback riding, in a safe environment, under the instruction of professionally trained staff at a locally available facility. It is the policy of the Maryland Cooperative Extension that no person shall be subjected to discrimination based on the grounds of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, marital or parental status, or disability.
4H TRP of Carroll County offers a one hour lesson of 4-6 riders, similar in age or ability, that focuses on individual riding skills, while gaining a therapeutic benefit. These benefits include improving muscle tone and strength, improving hand/eye coordination and balance, improving peer interaction and communication, increasing self esteem and developing a sense of control. Riders work on their horsemanship skills and willingness to try new things. Students may be taught how to groom and tack their horses. Classes include arena riding, trail rides, and group activities. For some riders this is their competitive sport of choice. They strive to compete at the local, national and international levels of equestrian sports, including Special Olympics. Ten week sessions are held each fall and spring. Each sessions seats 45-50 riders, using seven horses, assisted by an volunteer staff. The volunteer corp has accrued more than 1300 hours of service during each session.
- Susan Withnell
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