FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What kind of lessons are available?
All therapeutic riding lessons are individually geared to the needs of the rider. Initially, all students ride with a leader who controls the horse and one or two sidewalkers who walk on either side of the horse for safety concerns. Scenarios differ depending on the need of the rider. We remove sidewalkers and the leader only when a student can demonstrate complete control of the horse. We try to start all riders on a bareback pad to assess balance and muscle tone. Riding on bareback pads provides excellent sensory feedback to the rider. We usually use English saddles because they also provide more feedback from the horse's movement.
How long and how often are the lessons?
The therapeutic riding lessons run from 30 to 50 minutes, depending on various factors such as age and number of riders in a class. Most students ride once a week. There are 48 riding weeks per year. Partners Therapeutic Horsemanship runs year-round with the exception of holiday breaks. Students may take lessons for as long as they find them beneficial. There is no set length of time for involvement in the program.
What is the benefit and goal of the lessons?
The goal of each therapeutic riding lesson is to motivate students to ride as independently as possible in order to receive maximum benefits. Benefits may include improved self confidence, enhanced balance, muscle development, and learning skills such as: hand-eye coordination, concentration, and short-term memory.
How does a person with a physical disability get on a horse?
We utilize a special mounting ramp that allows one to get a wheelchair almost level to the horse's back. The therapy horse is brought right up to the student and we assist the rider onto the horse.
Are all disabilities accepted in the program?
Partners Therapeutic Horsemanship accepts a wide variety of riders with special needs, or at risk, and follows PATH International guidelines when determining the appropriateness of our program for each rider. Our riders come from individual families, group homes, and special education programs. We accept referrals from physicians, therapists, schools, and California Regional Centers.
What is the cost of the therapeutic riding program?
The cost of the therapeutic riding program is based on sessions, from 5-week sessions to 10-week sessions, and summer camps. Cost varies depending on the session.