Board of Directors

Sammy Garrison, Operations Manager

 Marchetta Garrison, Instructor

Steve Pike

Janet Clark

Jeff Sprowles



           WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THERAPEUTIC RIDING?

Muscular Improvement

Riding is particularly beneficial for wheelchair students or students with low muscle tone.  These students may have little to no natural means of locomotion.  The action of the horse relaxes and stimulates unused muscles, building muscle tone and improving coordination and balance.

Boosts Self Image
Riding gives a tremendous boost to self-image, especially for those with learning disabilities which involve visual perception difficulties. "Wow, I can do it!"--a tremendous feeling that they can do something as well if not better than anyone else!  For many, this is the first time in their lives that they've felt this way.

Provides Love and Reassurance
For the emotionally disturbed, the fuzzy, friendly quality of horses serves a marvelous purpose.  The approach, the petting, the grooming- all on a horse who stands immobile- the mounting and walking in absolute safety, surrounded by people who are also warm and friendly, are all so reassuring.

Offers Incentives for Learning
Mentally challenged and Down Syndrome students are able to learn to mount, walk, trot, canter, do all the exercises, dismount, "run up the irons," and put the horse away.  For many, riding becomes the most important part of their lives, and their interest in horses provides new incentives for learning.  Their vocabulary increases and they develop a desire to read about horses.  Therapeutic treatment using horses benefits people with neurological deprivation and dysfunction.  Research shows enhancement of balance, coordination, spatial orientation, and improved intelligence.

There are many similarities between human and horse:
110-120 steps per minute
4 to 5 degrees of pelvic rotation from front to back
2 to 3 inch pelvic shifts side to side
2 inches of average displacement in the center of gravity

Therapeutic riding can help with different disabilties:

Physical
The rhythm of the horse moves the rider's body in a way similar to the human gait.  The stable offers multitude of therapeutic benefits.

Mental
Riding can increase the rider's concentration, help them to articulate emotions, and develop a sense of spatial awareness.

Emotional
Riding can be effective in calming emotional outbursts and help to reinforce appropriate behavior.

Social/Language
Riding gives countless opportunities for socialization and language activities, helps with the correct posture to use the diaphragm, teaches students how to interact with other riders, and teaches them to become part of a team.

Who can benefit from therapeutic riding?
Riders range from age 3 to adult.  Every rider must have a doctor's release before riding.  Therapeutic riding is useful for addressing issues that stem from a wide variety of disabilities and medical conditions.  These include, but not limited to:

Amputation                         
Multiple Sclerosis
Attention deficit disorder                  
 Muscular dystrophy
Autism                                 
Paralysis
Cerebral                                  
Scoliosis
Closed Head Injury     
Spina Bifida
Development delay     
Stroke
Down's syndrome               
Traumatic brain injury
Emotional Disorders  

Vision impairment
Hearing impairment  
Physical, mental, emotional, social, and  Mental disability  language development

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