General Equine Sessions
Our programs are designed to meet the needs of each individual client. Curriculum is developed with a written goal and objectives to meet the needs of the able and disabled rider. Our instructors are in process of becoming certified by the Path International Organization of therapeutic riding professionals. As current members the instructors are required to complete examination and an additional 20 hours of continuing education each year. All of our volunteers attend regular training sessions and are required to have background checks. Our Therapeutic Horseback Riding program is geared towards individuals with a variety of physical and cognitive disabilities in addition to able bodied individuals.
Our horses are selected and trained specifically for our programs. They receive on-going training and exercise to ensure they are mentally and physically ready for their jobs. State of the art equipment is utilized and adapted as needed to encourage each of our clients to be as independent as possible.
Therapeutic Riding: a traditional riding lesson that addresses one goal and several objectives along the way while developed in partnership with each individual participant’s support team. Not only are our riders learning safe horsemanship skills, they are also developing social skills, communication, confidence, increased self-esteem, overall physical fitness, better balance, and coordination and agility.
Equine Assisted Activities: for participants who are not able to sit astride, equine- assisted activities provide the opportunity to interact with horses in a variety of ways – grooming, leading, lunging, ground driving, and more.
Horses for Heroes
The veterans program at The Hope Center USA facilitates a relationship and bond between the veteran and his/her horse. Through our 7 week program, veterans are trained in horsemanship with the intent of better preparing their horse for its role in providing therapy to others in the community, while at the same time providing a very unique and rewarding experience for themselves. Horses are incredibly sensitive and perceptive beings, thus in learning how to approach and effectively guide and communicate with their horse, the veteran also learns how to better understand and guide one’s self.
The Hope Center is a welcoming, family environment where we can all get away, relax, and share time with fellow community members, friendly staff, and calming animals. This facilitates an environment of understanding and trust, which in turn significantly reduces stress and anxiety in our participants.
As prey animals, horses possess many of the same needs and encounter many of the same psychological challenges as a veteran returning from war. Common needs between the horse and veteran, such as group hierarchy, routine, safety, and comfort help to facilitate a trusting bond between the horse and human. And unlike interaction with other humans, the communication that participants have with their horses is nonverbal and nonjudgmental, so through body language alone, participants begin fostering a common bond with their horses that is based upon mutual trust and respect. This bond in turn facilitates the beginning of emotional healing for the participant.
In order to facilitate trust, respect, and bond with their horses, participants are challenged to execute many tasks that require the demonstration of initiative, confidence, commitment, honesty, and empathy. Through the experiences gained in applying these attributes, a participant develops:
- Purpose – Committing as the horse’s advocate
- Teamwork – Performing as the horse’s partner
- Leadership – Establishing one’s self as the horse’s leader
- Communication – Communicating clearly and concisely
- Commitment – Never letting down or giving up
- Self-awareness – Control of physical movement and posture
- Self-control – Controlling emotion
- Self-esteem – Building confidence by overcoming fear
- Self-efficacy – Experiencing accomplishment through success
- Self-understanding – Learning about one’s self through horse’s behavior
- Social skills – Using the relationship with their horse to enhance relationships with people
Courses are typically 7 weeks in duration. Throughout the course, self-awareness, confidence, patience, consistency, and courage are stressed while veterans learn the basics of horsemanship. Once veterans graduate the 7 week program, they are encouraged to continue their time with The Hope Center by helping teach future veteran classes, as well as utilize their horsemanship skills in supporting all of the other programs and activities at the Center.
To inquire about how to become a participant or volunteer in our program, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Silver Saddles is a program for able bodied riders that are 55+ years old. Classes are kept small and focus on building riding basics, teaches the fundamentals of horses and their behavior, mounting, dismounting, tacking, the proper position in the saddle, reining, how to walk and trot and all at a slower pace than you’d find in a traditional riding school setting. Classes will also incorporate basic ground training to create and build the bond between rider and horse. You do not need to have prior experience with horses to join this class. Horseback riding helps improve posture, balance and flexibility. It also provides exercise that increases muscle tone and stamina. If you have questions about our Silver Saddles program, please contact us.
There are SO many people out there that will tell you that you can’t.
What you have to do is turn around and say, “Watch me”!