Occupational therapists or physical therapists treat children and adults with neuromuscular/skeletal disorders using standard concepts, practices and procedures within the field, in order to achieve maximum functional outcome. Therapies incorporate equine movements as a treatment strategy.
Equine-assisted activity contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Clients are encouraged to perform horsemanship activities to support the client’s individual needs.
Accommodates service members who have been injured and strives to nurture the mind and body through both the physically healing movement of the horse and emotional interaction.
The sports riding classes instruct and condition individuals to be true equestrians and to embrace all aspects of the equine world. Clients work toward knowledge and ability to manage, groom, and tack, and while participating in ground and ridden work/instruction.
Horses are beings with feelings, thoughts, emotions, memories and empathetic abilities and are highly social animals. Social interaction opens areas for communication, for self-discovery and develops character skills designed around essential components relating to the fundamental knowledge of the equestrian world.
WHEN CHOOSING A CENTER
Do the center and instructors hold certifications (PATH, EFMHA, AHA, etc.)? Does the center partner with universities and physicians? Do the instructors have previous professional equine experience (training, what kind, with whom, how much)? Is there a physical, occupational or speech therapist on staff for therapy or consultation? Are the horses rested and used no more than 3 consecutive classes (2 classes for therapy)? Are the horses physically and mentally conditioned on a regular schedule? Are volunteers trained, certified and retrained each year? Is someone on the premise trained in CPR? Does the staff participate in continuing education programs? Are the lesson plans or progress notes kept and available to the clients? Are the goals for each client discussed? Do they have liability insurance? Is the stable kept clean and free of tools or hazards?
Our primary concern is to provide a safe, productive experience for all clients. Included in this is the wish to “do no harm.” We may not be able to accommodate all.