Sports Riding focuses on teaching riding skills to participants as young as four years of age with physical, cognitive and/or emotional disabilities. Our PATH International-certified therapeutic riding instructors work with the riders to participate in a recognized sport and to develop independent skills that carry over to their everyday lives. Once they are mounted, many of our riders experience a freedom of motion and ability that they do not or cannot enjoy in other aspects of their lives.
Sports riding classes are conducted as group, semi-private or private classes. Riders are encouraged to set individual goals and progress is made at each individual's pace. Our instructors are dedicated to helping our riders grow and to achieve their independent potential.
Physically, the horse in motion, moves a rider with disabilities rhythmically and naturally through space in a way that simulates the human walking gait. This type of motion develops core muscle strength, balance and posture. Horseback riding also develops gross and fine motor control and promotes coordination.
Mentally, horseback riding increases concentration, improves sequential thought processing and
develops spatial awareness.
Emotionally, horseback riding provides an opportunity for riders to bond with the horse, their instructor and their volunteers. This helps develop trust and reinforces appropriate behaviors.
Socially, horseback riding nurtures a positive self-image and self-confidence as riding skills are learned. Riders often experience independence for the first-time in their lives when they are riding at Runnin’ WJ Ranch.
The minimum age to participate in sports riding is four years of age. All new riders will visit for an initial evaluation and orientation. During this visit, we will talk about issues and goals, and begin to develop a plan of treatment to allow us to best serve that person's needs.
Information Provided by: Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship.