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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

"Dad, I can’t throw a ball or swing a bat very good…but you know what? I can sure ride good!" - Eli, rider
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Volunteer Testimonials

After retirement, I was looking for something to do. Mostly I wanted to be with my daughter, Pat. After knowing what goes on out there, seeing the horses, and the knowing the personnel, it make me want to do something more. Before I had my back problems, I was able to do all the sweeping, but since my injury I am so happy to be able to help out any way I can, especially cleaning tack. ~Eddie, age 89


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