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Ridin' High is a therapeutic horseback riding program for disabled children and adults.
Therapeutic horseback riding is not a "pony ride". Disabled riders are given the opportunity to reach their individual potential in all aspects of horsemanship and riding.
Therapeutic riding has proven to be beneficial physically (it mimics our walk movement), psychologically (attention and focus are primary goals), and socially (interaction with peers and volunteers).
A knowledge of horses or disabilities is not required but the desire to learn about each is a necessity. Volunteers should not be afraid of horses as, obviously, this is their "tool" for assisting our riders.
Our riders have been diagnosed with a variety of disabilities including autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and strokes. Many have delayed learning issues. It is amazing, however, the power a horse has on their motivation to TRY. We see remarkable changes in our riders!
Ridin' High is currently a part-time program, expanding in 2008 to add additional lesson days and riders. We have a waiting list of over 50 people and hope to add at least 15 riders to our current line-up.
Volunteers are the heart of our organization! They serve as side walkers (stabilizing and encouraging riders), leaders (responsible for the horse), and general assistance in the barn or office. Training is provided for all areas. Those wanting to work directly with a horse receive additional instruction. We also have people who move into instructing.
Our riders pay a minimal amount of money for lessons that do not begin to cover our costs. We simply could not provide this service without our great volunteers!
- Linda Bertani
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