The Grace Foundation is proud to offer “Ride and Shine at Grace” therapeutic horseback riding lessons and other equine assisted activities for those with special needs. Therapeutic riding promotes physical, social, cognitive, and emotional growth in individuals with a diversity of mental and physical challenges. Riders range in age from 3 years old through their senior years.
Instructors are certified through NARHA, a training and certification organization for horse-related therapeutic programs in the U.S. All lessons are supervised and assisted by trained horse leaders and side walkers.
Following individualized treatment plans developed by the instructors, riders participate in special activities both on and off the horse that address their areas of need.
Programs are carried out in Grace’s own innovative, fenced, western-themed therapeutic riding area called Pony Town. What makes Pony Town unique are the therapeutic activities built into each façade. This allows our instructors to have immediate access to the activities in each rider’s treatment plan in a fun and visually stimulating environment. Other facilities used for programs include: full-sized outdoor arena, 2 round pens, trails throughout the ranch.
If you look up the Definition of “Grace” you will find it can be defined as:
Physical activities target:
- Balance, and coordination
- Developing muscle strength
- Improving fine and gross motor skills
Cognitive activities help:
- Increase focus and memory
- Improve the ability to follow directions and make a plan
- Increase vocabulary development
Emotional gains are made by:
- Improving self-confidence and self-awareness
- Control over anger and anxiety and by fostering success
Social growth is inevitable as riders interact with their therapeutic team as well as other riders and individuals at the ranch. Listening and speaking skills improve which translates into more confident communication.
Populations successfully served by therapeutic riding include those coping with:
- Autism, Asperger’s and other PDD disorders
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis and Downs Syndrome
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Learning disabilities
- Developmental delays and many other impairments