On a physical level, the riding helps participants strengthen and develop muscles and hone balance and motor control. Emotionally, riders develop a sense of responsibility and respect for an animal, learn problem-solving skills and develop an increased ability to focus. The unique relationships riders develop with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem, as well as foster feelings of independence and pride.
During each 30-minute session, riders are paired with one Pony Power Instructor, certified by Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, and two trained volunteers. Lessons consist of a warm up, a review of skills learned in previous lessons and introduction of a new skill. When possible, we will follow with games played with fellow riders that utilize one or more of the skills riders have been learning.
In addition to schools, agencies and individuals, we also provide Sibling Riding as part of this program. Our sibling program fills an important niche in that it offers a recreational activity for families with both special needs and traditional riders. Siblings ride simultaneously, which promotes family togetherness with increased physicality, but are paired with their own instructor for one-on-one attention.