The movement of a horse while walking mimics that of the human gait, which forces a rider’s trunk to move in the same fashion. By maintaining an upright sitting position on the horse’s back, riders strengthen and develop muscles in their trunk, neck and legs, which increases their postural stability and balance, as well as trunk and motor control. Riders are also provided proprioceptive, vestibular and sensory input, helping them to coordinate movements, integrate both sides of the body simultaneously, regulate emotions and attention, and obtain a greater sense of body awareness.
Horses have defined roles within their herds, distinct personalities and they like to have fun. So, these large, no-nonsense animals serve as wonderful relationship role models for individuals of all ages and abilities.
Horses respond immediately to the messages that individuals give them in the moment. Building a relationship with a horse is similar to forming one with another person. Through their interactions with horses, individuals not only become more aware of how they communicate with others, but begin to recognize the consequences of their actions and choices.
Both riding and non-riding sessions allow participants to develop a sense of responsibility and respect for an animal, increase their ability to focus, and hone life skills. All of our programs foster feelings of self-confidence, respect and esteem, as well as independence and pride.
We serve riders with a broad range of physical and developmental disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, developmental disabilities, mental health challenges, visual impairments, traumatic brain injury and more.
We also offer a non-riding program aimed at developing and honing fundamental life skills in children and adults with developmental disabilities, as well as individuals, families and groups facing a range of life challenges, such as those dealing with trauma and loss, substance abuse and recovery, eating disorders, anxiety and depression, and relationship and social issues.