Therapeutic Riding

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what is therapeutic riding?

Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Therapeutic riding provides benefits in the areas of health, education, sport and recreation & leisure. Throughout the world, there are thousands of individuals with special needs who experience the rewarding benefits of horseback riding. A disability does not have to limit a person from riding horses. In fact, experiencing the motion of a horse can be very therapeutic. Because horseback riding 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. In addition to the therapeutic benefits, horseback riding also provides recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors.

how does it work?

At Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) centers like Spirit, professional staff and volunteers work closely with riders to ensure safe riding sessions. A new rider is generality assisted by two side-walkers who walk alongside the horse, as well as a horse leader. Riding classes are taught by an instructor who has a strong equine background, as well as an understanding of various disabilities.

Therapeutic Riding Sessions are 1 hour, and priced at $60.00/hour.

What are the benefits?

Horses are non-judgmental. They do not laugh when told secrets. They provide a strong shoulder to lean on, and they do not shun people who are different. As our rider’s skills increase, so does their self-esteem and general well-being. Research has proven that exercise and interpersonal interaction produces profound benefits for individuals with special needs, working to reach their full potential.


Improve balance and coordination

Provides passive stretch for tight muscles

Replicated a muscle movement pattern like that of walking

Improves posture

Strengthens muscles by encouraging muscular response

Improves range of motion

Increase awareness of body

Stimulate the vestibular, nervous, and circulatory systems


Please download and fill out the rider packet and forms below. Complete packets must be turned in prior to your first lesson.


SPIRIT THERAPIES IS A 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

For more information on Therapeutic Riding, please contact Laurie at 702-219-1728.