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Our mission at GRACE Rides is to provide a quality environment and programs for extending the benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapies to individuals with special needs (physical, cognitive and/or emotional), and in so doing to improve the lives and community of each of our program participants and their family members, each of our service horses, and each of our volunteers.
Group but still individualized mounted lesson that focuses on learning riding skills, starting with a balanced dressage seat, and incorporating tailored activities while riding to improve areas identified as most challenging for each participant. Participants are placed into classes based on a “match” for age/cognitive age, areas of “focus” for overcoming their challenges, and their level of physical ability.
HORSES FOR HEROES:
A program exclusively for military and law enforcement veterans. Level One is groundwork, handling, general care and relational. Level One Advanced uses all of the same but adds competitive in-hand pattern work. Level Two can offer therapeutic riding for those who are interested and fit within our physical ability and weight limitations.
An unmounted program for pre-teens and teens who have experienced aspects of anxiety and/or depression in their lives. Offers horsemanship skills, along with horse behavior, grooming and general care (including some barn chore activities).
An unmounted program designed for young adults, aimed at developing social and general work skills, using training in horsemanship/handling, barn chores, and organic gardening.
An unmounted emotional, cognitive and physical enrichment program for senior citizens, focusing on horse behavior, grooming, ground handling and relationship.
EQUINE-ASSISTED LEARNING AND ENRICHMENT:
An unmounted educational and physical enrichment program (agriculture/gardening/barn management, plus horse behavior, care, grooming and ground handling studies) for special teen youth selected by school principals and counselors – This is a “closed” program, available only by agreement with requesting schools.
EQUINE-ASSISTED MENTAL HEALTH ENRICHMENT:
An unmounted educational, social, physical and mental health enrichment program (agriculture/gardening/barn chores, plus horse behavior, care, grooming and ground handling studies, and supervised socialization) for special pre-teen and teen youth selected by local counseling agencies. -- This is a “closed” program, available only by agreement with requesting counseling agencies, and requires counselors involved with participating youth in the clinical setting (outside the farm) to also be present during on-farm sessions.
AGE/WEIGHT REQUIREMENT FOR ALL PROGRAMS:
Participants must be at least 4 years old. There is no upper age limit, but some weight restrictions due apply for everyone’s safety. Each participant in each program attends at least one session each week.
SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF OUR PROGRAMS:
PHYSICAL – improves balance, body awareness in space, muscle tone, posture, endurance, and fine and gross motor skills, to name a few of the primary benefits.
SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL – Increased self-confidence; builds relationship between people and animals; improves communication and general social skills; encourages a sense of compassion and fulfilment; can help to overcome anxiety or fearfulness.
COGNITIVE – improves focus and attention span; develops ability to follow multiple step directions; safety and personal awareness; other educational components as indicated for each individual.
EXAMPLES OF DISABILITIES SERVED:
Autism Spectrum Attention Deficit Disorder Anxiety Cerebral Palsy Dementia
Depression Developmental Delay Down Syndrome Neuromuscular Disorder
Speech Deficit/Delay Trauma/PTSD Traumatic Brain Injury
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