Emerald Glen's therapeutic riding and horsemanship lessons are designed for the purpose of contributing positively to the well-being of individuals with special needs.
For people with physical challenges, the rhythmic, multidimensional motion of a horse can be very therapeutic. Riders often show improvement in flexibility, balance, posture, breathing, and strength.
For people with cognitive challenges, lessons are tailored to help improve speech, sequential thinking, information processing, and other such functions.
For people with emotional and/or social challenges, both riding and horsemanship (horse care and unmounted training) can provide benefits in the areas of self-confidence, relaxation, communication, cooperation, and impulse control.
Therapeutic lessons with Janet at Emerald Glen follow the rigorous guidelines established by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. In PATH standards, safety is paramount. The horses are carefully selected, trained, and monitored. Lessons are tailored to each individual’s needs and goals, and include both mounted and unmounted work.
Riders in the therapeutic lessons generally do learn traditional riding skills. Most lessons are currently private, but riders may occasionally be offered the chance to take part in group lessons. Those who demonstrate commitment to improving their skills may also be invited to take part in the Fun Shows at Emerald Glen.
Janet trains volunteers to work closely with riders and ensure safety. A new rider is generally assisted by a horse leader and/or a sidewalker.
Select volunteers with a proven commitment can earn credits toward their own riding lessons. Volunteers often report that helping others provides them with therapeutic benefits similar to those enjoyed by the riders.