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Our therapeutic riding program integrates the teaching of riding skills with therapeutic activities designed specifically for the individual rider with physical and cognitive disabilities.
Developed in Germany in the late 1960's, therapeutic riding has been successfully practiced in Europe, Canada and the United States.
Our 45 minute lessons include grooming and tacking the horse with various levels of assistance and a riding lesson incorporating activities that address physical, cognitive, emotional and educational needs of the rider. Healing Touch offers small group and private lessons.
For those riders who cannot walk, the horse is a vehicle of transport. Not only does it raise their self-esteem but it also teaches them essential skills. It improves balance, creates trust and creates a friendship between horse and rider. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength.
For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. The sense of independence found on horseback benefits all who ride.
Individuals of all ages, with a wide range of physical, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities benefit from therapeutic horseback riding and other equine activities. The types of disabilities and conditions served include: amputee, autism, cardiovascular accident/stroke, cerebral palsy, downs syndrome, emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, hearing impairments, mental retardation, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries.
The Gardiner Scholarship Program provides eligible students a scholarship that can be used to purchase approved services or products in order to design a customized educational program for the student. Scholarships can be used for specialized services such as speech or occupational therapy, instructional materials, tuition at an eligible private school, contributions to a college prepaid account and more. The program is directly administered by state-approved nonprofit scholarship funding organizations.
The Scholarship Funding Organizations (SFO) listed below are approved to administer the Gardiner Scholarship Program. Contact the SFO for instructions and deadlines for applying for a scholarship.
A.A.A. Scholarship Foundation
Up for Students
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