When a guardian tells a volunteer, "You have REALLY high expectations of him... and most people just don't treat him that way" it seems to suggest that we're onto something. Seeing a rider, be they an adult or a youth, master a riding-related challenge is a very powerful experience. Not to mention, incredibly empowering for the rider themselves.
Empowering the rider
Why Use a Horse
Horses and riders have been doing great things together for thousands of years. Horses have allowed their riders to go places, and do things, that they more than likely would not have been able to experience on their own. And so it is with each of the programs at Bright Horizons; we provide riders with the chance to develop skills, conditioning and abilities that they might not otherwise have had a chance to obtain.
What Sort of Skills, Conditioning and Abilities
Physical conditioning (core strength, balance, motor skills)
Cognitive development (awareness, decision-making, judgment)
Emotional development (self-esteem, independence)
Teamwork and Social Skills (general citizenship skills)
Examples of What Can be Achieved
Overall muscle tone, strength and flexibility
Coordination and balance
Language and communication skills
Increased ability to process information
Self esteem, self confidence and social skills
A meaningful rider/equine bond that will always be remembered
Types of Special Needs Challenges Riding Can Help
To list just a few: Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, Visual Impairment, Down Syndrome, Autism, Multiple Sclerosis, Spina Bifida, Emotional Disabilities, Brain Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, Amputations, Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorder, Deafness, Cardiovascular Accident/Stroke...