Physical Therapy focuses on improving gross motor skills and reaching developmental milestones including sitting, standing, crawling, walking, jumping and running. Physical therapists help children increase strength, flexibility, balance, endurance and coordination so that they can achieve their highest level of functional independence
Occupational Therapy helps children improve their ability to perform activities of daily living and self-help skills such as grooming, bathing, dressing and feeding so that they can fully participate in home, school and community activities. Occupational Therapists work on developing fine motor coordination, handwriting, visual motor function, core and upper body strength and sensory processing and regulation.
Speech Language Pathologists work with children to improve comprehension and communication, both verbally and non-verbally. Speech Therapy focuses on the development of expressive and receptive language skills, articulation, fluency, social skills and oral motor strength.
We treat children with a variety of diagnosis including but not limited to:
Sensory Processing Disorder
Gross Motor Delay
Fine Motor Delay
Stroke/ Stroke in utero
Traumatic Brain Injury
Spinal muscular atrophy
Other genetic syndromes
Fragile X syndrome
Other seizure disorders
Equine Assisted Therapy brings all forms of Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy together where a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor and sensory input. A foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities. Unlike therapeutic horseback riding (where specific riding skill are taught), the movement of the horse is a means to assist in achieving a goal by utilizing the horse as a treatment strategy
Therapeutic riding or adaptive/assisted riding focus on increasing individual riding skills while gaining therapeutic benefit. Each program is individually designed for children and adults with special needs who are willing to learn the attributes of horseback riding along with other skills such as grooming and tacking the horse and learning the anatomy and care of our equine companions. The instructor may include special exercises and games while on horseback as part of a motor skills planning and strengthening program. In addition, the session will include improving cognitive abilities by using memorization and task preparation. The movement of the horse can help core and muscle support, balance, coordination and gravitational awareness.
Therapeutic Horsemanship concentrates on all aspects of the essence between horse and human. Showing that the bond between the two can be an extremely powerful foundation of emotion, communication, setting boundaries, overcoming fears and trust. Every lesson is personalized with every individual’s unique requirements. Students will learn horse behavior, how to interact with the horse appropriately, and herd dynamics. We will utilize grooming techniques and ground activities to promote the benefits of gross and fine motor skills, sequential thought processing and increase confidence.
Benefits of Riding and Horsemanship
Physical: The horse’s walk simulates the human walk and a rider is able to feel what a normal walking pattern feels like. The participant has to maintain their balance on the horse, which helps build stronger muscles throughout the body and improve posture. Fine and gross motor skills are enhanced when participating in both riding and horsemanship activities.
Psychological: The horse can improve self-esteem and confidence, nurturing a positive self-image. Some may experience independence for the first time in their lives and self-reliance they can utilize in everyday life.
Behavior: Working with a horse can improve concentration, focus and reduce hyperactivity by effectively calming emotional outbursts and reassuring appropriate behavior.
Cognitive: Riding and Horsemanship may increase the participant’s ability to follow directions, improve sequential thought processing, motor planning and memory recall.
Emotional: Our programs provide the opportunity to bond with the horse, instructors and volunteers, which assists in developing trust, communication skills, confidence and expressive responses. As a team, we create an effective support system in an environment where people can learn and grow at their own pace.
Proper attire is required for all lessons. This consists of long pants and closed shoes/boots with heels. ASTM approved riding helmets are supplied. These programs are provided by qualified instructors with a focus on the personal needs and goals of the participant. PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) certified instructors oversee the curriculum and all instruction.