About Willow Farm Therapeutic Riding
We also offer an un-mounted class that concentrates on the relationship between the horse and the student using grooming, leading and social interaction to achieve this relationship. Un-mounted activities encourage a bond that is similar to that while riding but from the ground. The importance of trust is necessary but we also look at how horses relate to one another. We need to interact with them as they do with each other, so it is important we understand where we as people belong in the herd. Physical improvements are worked on because of leading and grooming, but social interaction and emotional bond is sometimes more important in these sessions.
Our program serves school age children from 3-26 years with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities. We are also expanding our program to include a session for Veterans called Heroes with Horses. At this time we have a riding weight limit of 180 lbs.
Most classes are mounted and the groups range from 2 to 5 riders. The riders spend close to 45 minutes on the horse after spending time preparing as the class is an hour long. Riders sign up for 4 lessons. They may sign up for more than one session in a summer if there is availability.
Our instructors are certified by PATH International, which is the international organization that is a guide and resource for the work with people with disabilities – cognitive, physical, and emotional – and horses.
The application process includes an intake with our therapist and instructor at the barn. The rider will be introduced to the barn, fitted for and asked to wear a helmet, and also will meet some of our horses. There is a required physician’s referral and a school IEP if available.
This year’s schedule is slightly different from last year. We are taking off part of August because we find that people are just too busy in that month. Please remember that the classes fill first come, first serve. We look forward to seeing you this riding season!
Being a volunteer in our program not only makes it possible for our students to ride, but we have heard over and over from our volunteers how much they enjoy their time with the program. Join us to see the great smiles that our riders have while being with ‘their’ horse and let those smiles spread to you.
Heroes with Horses
This is a new program for us. We are looking to be another place to give our Veterans and Active Duty members of the military a way to get back into life at home.