At Horses Help, our Adaptive Riding/Horsemanship program focuses on teaching riding and horsemanship skills while challenging participants physically, cognitively, and socially. Each of our PATH International- Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors and Equine Specialists work with participants as young as four to motivate and assist them in safely developing independent skills that can carry over to their everyday lives.
Adaptive Riding and Adaptive Horsemanship classes are conducted as group lessons. Working with parents/guardians/caregivers and the participant, our instructors set individualized goals that each person sets out to achieve at their own pace. With the support of the instructor, community volunteers, and their trusted horse, participants are able to realize their full potential and achieve amazing results.
Our Adaptive Riding and Horsemanship program is geared for a wide range of riders with varying physical and mental diagnoses. This program is a recreational model where riders focus on learning riding skills, interacting with their peers, and having fun in a safe environment. Riders are supported with a team of one to three volunteers who may assist in leading the horse and/or providing moral or physical support. Riders are grouped by like ability and riding skills.
Our Special Olympics Show Team & Barn Show Team classes are geared to help the Athletes practice their show patterns for the next upcoming show! Riders are grouped in like ability classes and like SO Divisions. We are able to serve and instruct riders in A (walk), B (walk/trot), and C (walk/trot/canter) Divisions! Riders who do not meet requirements for S.O. Equestrian due to age and/or diagnosis are considered part of our 'Barn Show Team'.
This 90 minute class format is geared towards riders who are interested in learning all aspects of working with horses - grooming, tacking, showmanship, round penning, riding, etc. We are able to serve riders from beginner walk only to advanced walk/trot/canter riders looking to refine their skills.
Q: Does insurance cover Adaptive (therapeutic) Riding?
A: At this time, typical insurance does not cover Adaptive Riding since it is a recreational activity. In some cases AHCCCS or ESA may provide supplemental funding for this activity. Contact your case manager for more information.
Q: How many students are in a 'group' lesson?
A: Group lessons are typically limited to a maximum of four mounted riders in one class.
Q: How many times per week will I ride?
A: Participants usually have one lesson per week.
Q: What days and times are classes offered?
A: Classes are offered at various times throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening; Monday-Saturday. No classes offered on Sundays.
Q: Am I too young/old for Adaptive Riding?
A: We serve riders ranging from 4 years of age to seniors!
Q: What is a rider intake?
A: A rider intake is a 30-45 minute meeting at Horses Help. This meeting enables the potential participant to see the facility, meet the staff, and ask questions. This is also a key time for a trained staff member to do an in-person evaluation of the potential rider so that we can set individual goals, ask questions, and get to know you better!
Q: What is 'horsemanship'?
A: Horsemanship is where riders focus on working with their horse on the ground, building a stronger relationship and learn fundamental skills such as grooming, tacking, leading, etc. We highly recommend Adaptive Horsemanship as an addition to Adaptive Riding classes as we believe that ground work with horses goes hand in hand with riding.