Our therapeutic riding program is designed to meet the specific needs of each participant. The prescribed program may include grooming, saddling, and learning riding skills or may be passive in nature. With some riders we position them so the movement of the horse can relax tight muscles, increase range of motion, improve trunk stability, and balance. These individuals are not learning riding skills but they are reaping great benefits just from being on the horse.
Riders participate one time per week for each session. Spring and Fall sessions are ten weeks/Summer is eight weeks/Winter is six weeks and Mini Term is two weeks with lessons three times a week. There is a maximum of four riders per group lesson. The one hour lessons are divided into two sections:
30 minutes of ground work which includes grooming, tacking, and mounting and 30 minutes of mounted work which includes exercises, riding skills, and games/activities.
Benefits of Therapeutic Riding
Balance, coordination and muscle tone improve through exercises done on horseback. Psychological benefits include increased independence, motivation and self-control. Vocabulary development and sequential learning contribute to cognitive gains, and self-esteem soars as the riders learn to control their mounts. The recreational aspect of STAR's program proves invaluable for these special persons who normally cannot participate in conventional sports.
One goal at STAR is to enable our riders to become as independent as possible and to challenge them to retain and use what they learn. Competition gives them that opportunity. It also allows them to show off! STAR riders participate in several shows annually.
The award winning STAR Drill Team currently consists of independent riders who ride intricate patterns set to music. The team members must know where their partner is at all times to synchronize their movements. They travel to shows as ambassadors for STAR as well as participate in competitions.