Our Program

Helping Horse Therapeutic Riding Program was founded in 1989 to provide therapeutic horseback riding lessons to individuals with various physical and mental special needs including Cerebral Palsy, developmental delay, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory impairment, traumatic brain injury, low muscle tone and others. Because a horse’s movement simulates a normal human’s gait, riding as therapy provides unique neuromuscular stimulation that encourages strength and muscle development, endurance, balance, coordination and flexibility. Unlike other therapies that only focus on one muscle group at a time, riding forces the rider to make use of the entire body to steer and control the horse while maintaining balance. Riding a horse requires not only physical skills but also cognitive skills.

At Helping Horse, our focus is to provide a therapeutic experience for each rider by combining riding skills with other activities to enhance strength and balance. The lessons also provide a recreational and social outlet to individuals that are often limited by their disabilities. Being in tune with an animal so large and strong helps develop self-confidence that extends beyond the riding ring.

Students enroll for an entire 30 week season which follows the traditional school calendar (September-May).   Depending on available space, a new student can be accepted into the program at any time for the remainder of the season. Students are assigned to a weekly class held either on Saturday morning, Sunday afternoon or Monday or Tuesday evenings. In order to place a student, we must be able to match the rider to an appropriate horse, class, and instructor, and we do this by scheduling an evaluation ride.  Please complete the new rider application and return via email to riders@helpinghorse.org and we will contact you to schedule the evaluation.

For further information or questions, contact riders@helpinghorse.org.

Download New Rider Application form