Therapeutic Riding is recognized world wide for its positive contributions to an individual’s well-being; cognitively, physically and emotionally. In fact, the impact therapeutic riding has on an individual with special needs is profound. Not only does riding improve physical strength, balance and coordination, it goes as far as to increase self-esteem, concentration levels, health and social interactions. Therapeutic riding is available to a large spectrum of individuals living with special needs and should be encouraged as we look to celebrate all abilities.
WindReach’s Therapeutic Riding Programme is accredited by The Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) and our Instructors are also CanTRA certified. We strive to provide a high quality programme that promotes challenge, achievement, empowerment and independence for individuals with special needs. Lessons, whether individual or group, follow an individualised lesson structure; including warm up exercises, a progression of skills and games designed to further those skills. Accompanying the participant and instructor in each lesson are trained volunteers ensuring safety at all times. Lessons are designed around the participant’s unique needs to maximize the outcomes and therapeutic benefits.
Because they are fun! But more importantly, a well trained therapy horse is rhythmic, symmetrical and organized. Each step the horse takes provides strong sensory and physical input in many dimensions – up and down, side to side, and back and forth. The Instructors balance these movements in specific orders to achieve positive results with the rider’s body mechanics that cannot be duplicated in any other setting.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO THE THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAMME:
This programme offers individualized riding lessons to help with physical strength, balance and coordination as well as attention, concentration and self esteem of people with special needs. Our focus is on development of our riders, as well as providing them with meaningful moments of interaction with our horses. If we measured the benefits of the Therapeutic Riding Programme with the number of smiles we received each lesson, the numbers would be off the charts!
The physical benefits include: improved balance, strengthened muscles, improved coordination and motor planning. It also stretches tight/spastic muscles, increases joint range of motion, respiration and circulation, as well as sensory integration.
Therapeutic riding also improves: social skills, self confidence, increased interest in the outside world and increased risk taking abilities. In addition, it develops skills of patience, emotional control and self discipline; enhances friendships, communication and enjoyment and develops respect and affection for animals.
The educational benefits include: improved remedial reading and math, sequencing, patterning and motor planning, improved hand/eye coordination, improved visual and spacial perception, increased attention span and concentration, as well as improved verbal skills.
If you are interested in participating in our Therapeutic Riding Programme please contact Samantha Hillier at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 238-7433.