Therapeutic riding is recreational horseback riding lessons adapted to individuals with disabilities.  Therapeutic riding is completed by a certified therapeutic horseback riding instructor in conjunction with volunteers.  In therapeutic riding, the individual is often taught riding lessons in a group format, which runs in “sessions”. The instructor must respond to the group as a whole, in addition to fostering
individual success.

There is occasional hands-on assistance by the riding instructor and/or volunteers, but the instructor usually teaches from the center of the arena.  The riders work on skills in the arenas using a variety of obstacles or they hit the Nature Quest Discovery Trail where they encounter a variety of learning stations.
Horses used for therapeutic riding instruction have been screened to make sure they have the appropriate temperament for this job.  In therapeutic riding, the emphasis is on proper riding position and reining skills, not functional therapeutic goals.   Because therapeutic riding is an adaptive/recreational/sport activity, NOT therapy, it is not covered by insurance.

Group lessons:  $35/hour   Private lesson:  $45/hour

Benefits of Therapeutic Riding Lessons:

Physical Benefits:

  • Improved coordination and normalized muscle tone
  • Relaxation of spastic muscles/facilitation of flaccid muscles
  • Improved posture, sitting and standing balance
  • Improved gross and fine motor skills
  • Increased functional range of motion and muscular strength
  • Improved perceptual motor/sensory motor integration
  • Improved cardiovascular function and stamina

Cognitive Benefits:

  • Increased vocabulary – application and recall
  • Improved attention and concentration
  • Improved sequencing and planning skills
  • Improved judgment and critical thinking skills
  • Improved flexibility in thinking
  • Increased verbal integration and participation
  • Increased visual and auditory discrimination

Psycho-Social Benefits:

  • Increased self-confidence, self esteem and self-control
  • Mastery of a difficult task
  • Improved positive social interactions and teamwork
  • Increased ability to appropriately solicit help and act independently
  • Increased desire to take risks
  • Increased empathy and sense of empowerment
  • Interaction with positive role models
  • Experience of success in a supportive environment