NTRC offers therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with special needs. Each lesson includes exercises and games while on horseback, tailored to the rider’s individual needs and designed to help with improvements with their abilities.
What is “therapeutic riding”?
Because the movement of a horse mimics the movement of a human’s walk, riders experience this movement in their own bodies and receive physical, sensory, and neurological stimulation. This translates to stronger muscles, better balance and coordination, and, just as importantly, increased self-confidence and self-esteem.
How does someone enroll in a therapeutic riding program?
At NTRC, our process is thorough: When an inquiry is received, the required forms are either downloaded from our web site or we send out an application package that includes medical forms, release forms, and information about our program.
When we receive the forms back, we schedule an assessment and an evaluation ride. This is done by a member of our team of PATH Certified Riding instructors, often with the assistance of a licensed Physical Therapist. There is a one-time, non-refundable $30.00 fee for the rider evaluation. Not everyone who applies is evaluated or accepted into the program. Sometimes there are reasons why we cannot accept a rider (or a rider chooses not to enroll) and we follow PATH guidelines in making these decisions.
Once accepted, an appropriate class and time for weekly lessons is chosen. If we do not have an opening in the appropriate class, the rider is placed on a waiting list until an opening becomes available. We make every effort to accept riders into our program as quickly as possible.
How can I get the forms to sign up or renew?
If you would like a printed application, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What happens after the Initial Evaluation?
After the initial evaluation, goals are set for the rider for the current session. These may include physical, cognitive and/or behavioral goals. An appropriate method of mounting and dismounting are described and put in the rider’s chart together with any special instructions for sidewalkers. Suggestions for appropriate horses and tack are also included. This information is then used by our instructors to design lesson plans and objectives for each lesson. At the end of the session, a progress report is generated and each rider is reassessed to determine which goals have been met, and to set new goals for the next riding session.
When are lessons?
We currently offer lessons on Mondays (2:45pm-7:15pm), Wednesdays (2:00pm-6:45pm), Thursdays (9am-12:00pm and 3:00pm-7:00pm), and Saturdays (8:00am-12:45pm) during winter, spring and fall. The summer season is a shortened schedule for general sessions but summer camp sessions are available. There is no riding in August and on certain holidays.
To better identify our riders by age and ability level, we have assigned all of our therapeutic riders to teams, with names such as Palominos, Appaloosas, Thoroughbreds, Mustangs and Clydesdales. We hope this will be a fun way for riders to identify themselves and build camaraderie within the teams.
Groups are decided bases on the following criteria:
Mounting, Verbal Skills, Physical Skills, Ability to Process, Adaptive Equipment, Sidewalkers needed, Leaders required, Grooming and tacking and age.
How much does it cost?
Riders sign up for a session which is composed of 6-8 weeks of group riding lessons ($10 per 45 minute group riding lesson weekly). The cost of an eight-week session is therefore a total of $80; riding fees must be paid in advance of each session.