Providing the Opportunity for Everyone to Experience Success
At Helping Horse, we offer group-riding lessons for people with a variety of physical, mental and emotional special needs. Our focus is to provide a therapeutic experience for each individual rider by combining riding skills with games and activities, to enhance their strength and balance, while having fun!
All of our lessons take place on horseback.
In order to place a student, we must be able to match the rider to an appropriate horse, class, and instructor. To do this, we schedule an evaluation ride. We carefully consider all of this information to provide a safe ride for the student. Weight and height information help us determine which of our horses can carry the rider safely, as we have horses in varying sizes. The student’s ability to balance, to walk with or without assistance, and to communicate and receive instructions, help us determine the number of volunteers needed to help the student safely ride.
Students enroll for the entire 30-week season which follows the traditional school calendar (September-May). Depending on available space, a new student can be accepted into program at any time for the remainder of the season.
Students are assigned to a weekly class which are held at a variety of times during the day and evening, throughout the week and weekend.
About The Riding Program
What is therapeutic horseback riding?
Therapeutic horseback riding is a fun way to combine a person’s therapeutic goals with the connections to volunteers and horses. Therapeutic riding helps to improve: communication, following directions, social skills, building strategies for handling stress, physical strength and confidence.
What are the benefits of therapeutic riding?
The walking gait of a horse is similar to a normal human’s gait. Sitting on the back of one of our horses helps our riders use the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones typically used for independent walking – especially beneficial to riders with low or no independent mobility. Riding helps build overall physical strength and flexibility, and can lead to better physical and mental health. Our riders report that benefits last long after they leave the farm, such as increased emotional calm, increased physical stamina, better social skills, increased motor planning and language, and better attention span.
The bond our riders develop with our horses and volunteers helps to increase social and communication skills. Our supportive culture helps build trust and offers a non-judgemental ‘safe place’ for riders to try new goals, or try harder on continuing goals.
Who can ride?
Helping Horse provides services to children and adults with special needs, age 4-and-up, in an equal opportunity setting. Riders we serve cope with a wide array of special needs diagnoses, including, but not limited to, Autism Spectrum, Genetic Developmental Disorders, Cerebral Palsy (CP), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Stroke, and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
What kind of services does Helping Horse offer?
Currently, Helping Horse offers both group and private lessons, every day of the week, except Friday. Riders can sign up for both a Fall & Spring Session of weekly classes held from September through May (with a break for the winter holidays), and for a Summer Session of weekly classes held from June through August.