The therapeutic riding program at Carousel is committed to the goal of providing safe and beneficial therapeutic horseback riding to individuals with physical, mental, and emotional disabilities. It is our mission at to improve the well-being of our students through equine assisted activities, by encouraging them to set goals, and providing them with the motivation to achieve those goals.
The therapeutic riding program at Carousel Park is a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International premier accredited center.
Therapeutic riding programs develop relationships between the individuals with special needs, the certified instructor, and a special therapy horse. This creates an opportunity for individuals to reach beyond their disability through a therapeutic riding program.
Benefits fall under the following categories:
Physical: The horse rhythmically and naturally moves the body in a manner similar to the human gait, improving posture, balance, and muscle control
Mental: Improves sequential thought processing, increases the rider’s ability to articulate emotions, and develops social awareness
Emotional: Effective in calming emotional outbursts and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. Contact with the horses and horsemanship training provides a non-competitive setting for learning
Social: Assisted therapeutic riding nurtures a positive self-image. Individuals with disabilities are able to experience more independence, as well as develop an awareness of teamwork. All riders have the ability to learn skills and participate in a recognized sport. Riders are encouraged to develop a better self-esteem, which they can take with them and use in their everyday lives
Benefits of equine-assisted therapy include:
Improved gross and fine motor skills, balance, posture, and coordination
Increased independence at home and school
Increased range of motion and muscle tone
Increased self-esteem, due to the acquisition of skills in a recognized sport
Conditions impacted include (but are not limited to):
Programs at Freedom Reins
Therapeutic lessons run in sessions. The lessons will be scheduled every hour. Each student will have half an hour of actual riding per week. The second half of the hour will allow the student to groom and interact with the horse, as well as allow the instructor to speak with the parents and student about the lesson and to answer any questions they may have.
Carousel Park offers a day program that runs in sessions. The day program is offered for schools, at risk youth programs, counseling programs, and our Horses for Heroes program. The day program lessons are two hours long. Included in these lessons are hands-on horse care, grooming, and tacking, and a riding portion. There is a minimum of three students to participate.
The therapeutic program is always looking for dedicated volunteers to assist with our lesson program. Please print out our Volunteer Packet to apply. You can then drop it off the completed application pages (or mail them in), and a staff member will contact you for an orientation / training session. Once you have completed orientation, you can then begin to volunteer.
Therapeutic riding lessons are scheduled Sunday through Friday. We need side walkers and leaders. As some of our students require as much as three volunteers per lesson, we are always looking for dedicated volunteers.