Equine Therapy and Riding Lessons

The Healing Power

Normalizes muscle strength and tone.

Improves coordination, freedom of movement, balance, respiration, body awareness, tactile perception and oral motor control.

 

Enhances self-image and confidence.

Increases acceptance of unfamiliar experiences.

Develops loving relationships.

Increases attending and safety awareness.

Enhances comprehension and memory.

Improves ability to plan sequence and follow directions.

Improves interpersonal communication.

Promotes family interaction and broadens social activity.

Develops a recreational skill.

 

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
​​With Ruth Whitely, PhD, LPC-S, NCC

Dr. Whitely offers equine assisted psychotherapy with the help of the special therapy horses at Throwaway Ponies.  Dr. Whitely is a licensed cognitive behavioral therapist and counselor.  She customizes each program to help the participant with his/her specific needs.  Participants will have fun working with a horse from the ground while developing power tools for living.

Services might be covered in full or in part by health insurance.

Lessons On Hold

 

Lessons have beem suspended  while we are in the process of  moving  from Rockwall to Farmersville.   The moving process might take several months. 

 

When lessons are resumed, we will post the information here.

 

 

 

Horses that Heal

Therapeutic Riding opens new pathways of mental and emotional rehabilitation. The rhythmic and rocking gait of the horse transfers a gentle three-dimensional movement to the rider that relaxes muscles, improves muscle tone, flexibility and balance, and enhances spatial awareness. Outdoors with a team of encouraging volunteers and a supportive horse, self-control, self-esteem, self-confidence and independence grows. Rehabilitation becomes a joy rather than a chore.

 

Our riders, with challenges such as autism, aspergers, attention deficit, cognitive limitations, emotional disabilties, use horses to experience an overall improvement in their quality of life.

Therapeutic Riding

This is our core program.  Therapeutic riding instructors conduct each lesson for about an hour, usually once or twice a week for each student.

The rider learns how to ride with the goal of full independence. Riding a horse independently for a child with autism or an adult with cerebral palsy is an empowering and life-changing experience.

 

Therapeutic

Riding

Forms

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the horses safe?

We take every precaution to keep everyone safe.  It is our highest priority.  Our therapy horses are not usually rescue horses.  They are hand selected for their training and temperament.  They are tested before being added to the lesson/therapy program.  We also teach participants how to stay safe around horses.

How much does it cost?

For groups with 3 - 5 participants, basic riding lessons are $20 per person.  For private lessons and therapy sessions, the cost is $30.  In addition, we ask that all participants help care for the horses by coming to work days, cleaning paddocks, feeding, or helping in some way that is appropriate to the particpant's abilities.

What are the qualifications of your instructors?

Karen Bander is certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association.  All instructors have at least two years of riding experience.  Training is provided to helpers.

What are the requirements to participate?

We accept riders of all ages with or without a disability or emotional problem.  Working with horses builds self confidence and leadership skills in everyone.  Young children usually need to be at least six, but it varies based on the child's attention span.  There is a weight limit of 210 lbs.  We welcome groups, organizations, and individuals.

 

Riders must be able to mount and stay on a horse with minimal assistance.  We have side walkers for young children who need help.  For those needing more assistance, we recommend Equest, a facility in Wylie, TX just a few miles from here.

What are the lessons like?

Participants usually ride a horse on their first day.  Over the weeks, learning about horse care, grooming, tack, etc. is mixed in with riding.  Riding starts in a safe arena setting.  As students progress, they might ride in a pasture or on an ostacle course.

Are there any special requirements for foster children?

The CPS worker will need to get authorized signatures on all of the release forms.  Group and private lessons are available for foster children.

What is a "Horsemanship Class" like?

These classes are held in the arena or a classroom.  They do not involve riding.  Topics include equine anatomy, parts of a saddle, first aid, horse health, how to be safe around a horse, saddling, catching, etc.

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Horse Rescue