What is Therapeutic/Adapted Riding?
Therapeutic/adapted horseback riding assists individuals in developing their highest potential through therapeutically based equine activities. A safe and enjoyable environment is provided for riders to experience the benefits of horseback riding and horsemanship skills, while working constructively on physical, cognitive, mental, and emotional challenges.
We strive to offer our riders the opportunity to do an athletic activity, which like any sport, requires them to develop good balance, muscle strength and coordination.
The accepting nature and tolerant personality of the horse encourages riders to test the limits of their abilities and learn to make good choices under the guidance of qualified instructors.
Therapeutic riding means much more than sitting on a horse. The goals for each student vary and the benefits are endless. Some concrete benefits students may take home include:
- Adjusting how the reins are held can increase fine motor skills.
- Getting on and off the horse can increase gross motor skills.
- While a horse moves forward, it also sways side-to-side, which is a three-dimensional movement unique to horses and unable to be replicated in any other way. This movement causes the rider to involuntarily use many more core muscles than they typically would when walking or sitting on their own, improving their core strength.
- Therapeutic riding helps with balance and coordination, social skills and sensory integration.
- Mounting a horse at the ramp can help a rider conquer their fears and boost confidence.
We have had students speak for the first time on their horse, interact more at home and school after riding, and progress from riding with complete support to riding independently. We have watched a rider struggle to complete a task, only to succeed with the help of their 4-legged friend whom they can’t help but smile, laugh and fall in love with. Our horses are riding companions, confidants (that always keep your secrets), reading buddies, play pals, teachers, confidence builders and partners in the rider’s success.
Classes take place in an environment that focuses on the rider’s ability rather than disability. Most clients participate in the program once a week for a 60-minute class, offered in 4 or 6 week sessions from March and November. Clients can sign up for as many sessions as they would like and many clients participate in multiple sessions each year.
Programs are conducted by trained instructors and specially trained volunteers. Our staff, volunteers, and especially our horses work together to meet the unique needs of our very special clients. The small miracles that happen everyday at LTRC are attributed to the dedication and commitment of our incredible team!
Tuition assistance is available for those who qualify.
Click here for the 2016 Tuition Assistance form.