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Therapeutic Riding Program Outline

Therapeutic Riding, the most popular form of Equine-Assisted Services (EAS), 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 (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 Director.  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.

Horseback riding may not be appropriate for everyone and may change over time. Our decisions about continuation in therapeutic riding are based entirely on safety – for the participant, our horses, volunteers and staff.

  • There is a one-time $75 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 5 week or 10 week sessions.
  • Private sessions are 30 minutes and semi-private/group sessions are 45 minutes – including mounting and dismounting. The fee is $60.00 per session. 
  • Program payments are due before sessions begin.

Sometimes we are able to offer partial scholarships (thanks to foundational grants) based on residency and family income. Contact the Director of Programs for additional information.

“With Horses, Making Forward Strides”