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Therapeutic Riding Lessons

Raspberry Ridge farms offers therapeutic riding lessons to children and adults.

Riding promotes the benefits of the horse for individuals with physical, emotional and learning disabilities or for riders who are recovering from a trauma or simply require a more individualized approach to riding.

Since 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 physical disabilities, equine-assisted activities have been shown to improve muscle tone, strength, balance, posture, coordination, motor development, joint range of motion, as well as emotional well-being. And, it has the added bonus of being fun!

For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem.  We also have a number of other farm pets on the property, which riders love to relate to in a hands-on way. They include donkeys, goats, sheep, ponies, chickens, peacocks, llamas, cats and dogs.

Horses can be used frequently as examples in moral, spiritual or character-building for life-changing lessons. Individuals with almost any cognitive, physical and/or emotional trauma or disability can benefit from riding, or other purposeful, safe and supervised interaction with equines.

We have had successful students with Asperger's Syndrome and other Autism Spectrum Disorders, brain injuries of varied types, developmental delays, and a variety of physical challenges. Each student progresses at their own rate, according to their abilities, on very quiet, experienced horses and ponies. Our coach is certified, with 30 years' teaching/coaching experience, and over 10 years teaching riders with limited abilities.

Horse riding has been shown to provide both physical and psychological benefits, due to the nature of the sport in which the rider participates with a companion animal. Studies have also found that riders with physical disabilities and chronic illness are normally able to participate at the same level of intensity as non-disabled riders.1

Sources/Further reading: 

1 BHS commissioned study at Plumpton College of Brighton University: http://www.bhs.org.uk/~/media/BHS/Files/PDF%20Documents/Health%20Benefits%20of%20Riding%20in%20the%20UK%20Full%20Report.ashx

2 The benefits of Therapeutic Riding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeutic_horseback_riding

Teagan is shown with "Windy", who was one of our very experienced therapy ponies. This photo was taken when she was well over 30.

Potential riders/caregivers should speak to their physician and physiotherapist prior to beginning riding. We will also ask you a series of questions in order to determine if therapeutic riding is for you, your loved one or client.

Lessons are $35. for a private half-hour session.

*Please note that since we are booking time, an instructor and a horse exclusively for each rider, that lessons cancelled for ANY reason other than severe weather, with less than 24 hours notice will count as a lesson taken, and you will be billed.

Natalie enjoys her third therapy ride on our sweet Standardbred gelding "RV"