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The CENTER - Programs - Therapeutic Riding

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Therapeutic Riding Program

Therapeutic Horseback Riding is for individuals with physical, cognitive or psychological challenges that limit their ability to participate in a more typical riding program.  The purpose of this activity is to provide a safe, structured environment for individuals with challenges.  This activity allows them to engage in meaningful, age appropriate activities and/or as a viable compliment to physical, occupational or speech therapies, depending on the specific needs of the specific individual.

The multi-dimensional movement of the horse has been shown to positively affect physical, psychological and behavioral functioning in individuals with barriers such as Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Down Syndrome, Autism, visually and hearing impaired, emotional development and learning challenges.  It has also been shown very effective in seniors as a viable recreational activity with aerobic advantages.


The individuals we serve benefit directly from increased mobility, flexibility and strength as well as improved sense of responsibility, self-control, self-esteem and team dynamics.

Due to the special needs of the individuals we serve, The CENTER is a specialized facility capable of meeting the needs of these individuals.  Their needs are met through modified equipment, modified instruction, trained staff and specially trained horses not easily found at standard riding facilities.

This activity will be conducted by The CENTER for Therapeutic and Educational Riding.  Specifically, there will be minimally one instructor present during each riding session.  The ability of the rider determines if additional staffing is needed and to what extent. Maximum staffing per rider is four.  As balance and stability are gained, the need for staffing may be reduced.  Horsemanship skills are taught to the individual rider’s ability and are not the primary focus as in a typical riding program.  Increasing strength, stamina, flexibility, mobility and balance are stressed.  In consideration of individuals with learning delays, educational aspects can be incorporated into the lesson using colors, shapes, letters and numbers.  As skills are developed, they will also be challenged by following directions that become more complex.  Individuals with emotional disabilities can use the horse itself as a mode to healing.  The horse and the relationship that develops provides companionship, trust, understanding and unconditional love.  The CENTER provides a resolute standard of operation that is reassuring and consistent thus providing stability and a sense of safety.