Adaptive Riding at Shining Hope Farms

An equine assisted activity

Adaptive riding (also known as 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.

Child on horse.

A PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor conducts these group lessons where the individuals participate in games and activities that help with balance and coordination while riding their horses. The lessons are recreational in nature and the riders are assisted by a horse leader and side walkers which provide an enjoyable social environment. Basic riding and horsemanship skills are taught throughout the sessions.

If you’re interested in learning more about adaptive riding at Shining Hope Farms, please contact us today.

Benefits of ADAPTIVE Riding

Physical Improvements

such as increased balance, trunk control, fine and gross motor coordination, flexibility, and muscle strength.

Emotional stability

to improve self-image, confidence, self-esteem, and independence.

Social interaction

to gain ability to work with others, increase cooperation, teamwork, and responsibility.

Cognitive improvements

such as increased attention span, motivation, vocabulary, memory, and concentration.

Serving Veterans

We also offer adaptive riding to veterans in our Saddles and Salutes program.

The equine’s stride provides multidimensional movement, which is variable, rhythmic, and repetitive. The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for increasing trunk control, balance, postural strength, weight bearing, and motor planning. It offers well-modulated sensory input to vestibular, proprioceptive, tactile, and visual channels. When a client is sitting on the horse, the horse’s walking gait facilitates movement responses remarkably similar to the human gait. The effects of equine movement on postural control, sensory systems, and motor planning can be used to improve coordination, timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration, and attention. Equine movement is used to facilitate body systems that support our daily living skills.


Specially Trained & Certified Staff

Our instructors are certified by PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). All instructors must complete a comprehensive training program which includes supervised student teaching, CPR and first aid verification, extensive reading, and riding experience. In addition to our human instructors, each of our horses undergoes careful screening to ensure he or she has the appropriate disposition, physical movement, and level of training necessary for adaptive riding.

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Doctors' RX Required

Each client must provide a doctor’s prescription to participate. When paperwork is received, our instructors will conduct a thorough initial evaluation of each client and formulate functional goals. Progress updates are conducted every six months to evaluate client progress.