Anyone who has been on a horse responds immediately to the power and strength of the animal. For the physically, emotionally and mentally challenged individual the experience offers a new view on life. Horses are a wonderful medium for relationships and for therapy in a natural environment. Riding therapy has proven to be a highly motivational and enriching therapeutic and educational modality for students to escape their crutches, wheelchairs & disabilities, replacing them with the gentle gait of a well-trained horse.

Therapeutic Riding at Equest Center, which can include Developmental Vaulting, english, western and dressage instruction, takes place using a variety of saddle styles and riding styles based on the individual needs and goals of the rider.

Classes are run throughout the course of the entire year. Clients typically participate in one riding lesson per week. DJ& kitties 014

Summary of Fees for Therapeutic Riding lessons
Therapeutic Riding lesson (30 minutes) $15.00
Therapeutic Riding lesson (60 minutes) $20.00

Goals are thoughtfully developed to foster independence and to provide challenging and educational activities. Input is gathered from parents/guardians, rider, teacher and therapist – an instructor’s lesson plan may include a wide variety of games and exercises designed to increase the rider’s ability to listen, learn and communicate. In addition, all riders work on improving their riding skills and a willingness to try new things and attain goals. There are many opportunities for the whole horse experience such as grooming, leading, tacking etc. Lessons may be held in the indoor arena or outdoor riding arena if whether permits.

It’s the rider’s ability not disability that determines the volunteer requirement. During the lesson one to four riders may assist the rider. Our volunteers participate in an orientation and experience hands-on training. All volunteers agree and comply with our confidentiality policy.

At the heart of therapeutic riding is teamwork with the horse, rider, therapist, instructor, volunteer and family working together to provide a fun, loving and positive therapeutic environment that cannot be duplicated in a clinical setting. Because of its varied benefits, therapeutic riding has been recognized as a beneficial mode of therapy by the American Physical and Occupational Therapy Associations. The farm environment is relaxing; and the fresh air and exercise is a refreshing change from conventional therapy facilities. The majority of special needs individuals have had much more than their share of doctor visits and stressful therapy sessions. For them, Equest offers the opportunity to use their strengths, improve on their weaknesses and reach their personal and therapeutic goals in a fun, exciting environment. To put it simply – Equest provides therapy disguised as fun!

Cancellation Policy
If inclement weather develops or if it is necessary to cancel classes for any reason, Equest will call the individual riders and volunteers scheduled. Closings are also posted on WOOD TV8 and WZZM 13, listed on Equest Center’s Facebook page and on Equest Center’s  main phone line. If Rockford Public Schools are closed due to winter weather, Equest’s classes will be canceled as well.
In warmer weather, classes will be canceled if the heat index rises above 95 degrees. For the Safety of Horses, clients and volunteers, classes cannot be held during Thunder and lightening due to the potential startling of horses