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More on Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic riding allows children and adults with disabilities to work with a horse and a licensed instructor, under the supervision of licensed medical professionals in order to improve their physical, emotional, and mental well-being.   The therapeutic qualities horseback riding are recognized by many medical professionals, including the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association.

For riders with impaired mobility, the gentle rhythmic movement of the horse moves their bodies in a manner similar to the human gait.   This allows riders to improve their balance, flexibility, and muscle strength.   Riders with learning disorders or mental disabilities are given an opportunity to improve their reasoning skills and develop increased concentration and patience.   The special bond between the rider and horse allows the rider to improve his or her personal relationships, develop greater self confidence and a sense of independence.

At the heart of therapeutic riding is teamwork with the horse, rider, therapist, instructor, volunteer, and family working together to provide a fun, loving, and positive therapeutic environment that cannot be duplicated in a clinical setting.   As the parent of one rider says, "The key to the program is that the fun is indistinguishable from the therapy; my daughter hardly equates trips to Hearts & Hooves to a doctor or therapist visit."

Hearts & Hooves is truly a life changing organization. This website will provide you with more information on this program and tell you how you can help these special riders.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 24 October 2012 20:19

Rider Testimonials

"But at Hearts and Hooves, there is also a special relationship between the rider and volunteers.The volunteers provide such a warm supportive atmosphere. Through their friendly banter andsmiles, Olivia realizes that it’s okay to take chances because she is safe and has people who caresurrounding her. Without a doubt since she began riding, she is more confident, outgoing and happy." - Robin, parent of rider
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Volunteer Testimonials

"Mason has a handicapped younger brother and feels right at home working alongside children with special needs.  He finds it rewarding to build relationships with the kids while helping them learn new skills.  He is an encouraging, yet protective leader.  His biggest challenge has been learning how to communicate in different ways.  He previously took riding lessons and also enjoys grooming and handling the horses.  Hearts & Hooves is a perfect fit for Mason and he loves spending time volunteering!"  --Susan (mother of a teenage volunteer)

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