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Therapeutic Riding Program Outline

Therapeutic Riding, the most popular form of Equine-Assisted Activities & Therapies (EAAT), is mounted horseback riding for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of people with special needs through the teaching of horsemanship skills.

At Shepard Meadows, we provide the encouragement and supports to assure that our riders are both safe and successful. Riders and their families equally enjoy their time at our beautiful and tranquil farm.

A few of the challenges our participants commonly face include;

  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Apraxia
  • Asperger’s/Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cognitive Delays
  • Congenital Disorders
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Developmental Delays
  • Emotional/Behavior Disabilities
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Visual and Auditory Impairment

Application & Evaluation

The first step in the process is for potential participants to complete an application. The application includes a physician’s sign-off that horseback riding is safe for the individual with no contraindications.

Once the application is received, it is reviewed by the Program Coordinator who determines eligibility into the program.  The next step is to schedule a riding evaluation to determine if the program activities would be safe and appropriate for the individual and what resources would be needed such as – horse, riding equipment, volunteer and staffing needs.

  • There is a one-time $55 evaluation fee.
  • Participants must be 4 years or older with a maximum weight limit of 180 lbs for mounted programs.
  • Programs are offered weekly, usually in either 4 week or 8 week sessions.
  • Private sessions are 30 minutes and semi-private/group sessions are 45 minutes. The fee is $50.00 per session.
  • Program payments are due before sessions begin.

If you are a resident of Bristol, Connecticut, you may be eligible to receive financial assistance based on family income. Contact the Program Coordinator for additional information.

“With Horses, Making Forward Strides”