Disability does not have to limit someone from riding or caring for horses.
Throughout the world, thousands of individuals with disabilities experience the rewarding benefits of horsemanship. A disability does not have to limit a person from riding horses, therapeutic driving, interactive vaulting or even competition.
Experiencing the motion of a horse can be very therapeutic. Because horseback riding rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength. In addition to the therapeutic benefits, horseback riding also provides recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors. Therapeutic/adaptive horsemanship contributes to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with disabilities.
M.A.R.E. is a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (Path Intl.) and we follow PATH Intl. Standards that exist to provide consistent safety provisions for participants, highly-regarded facility and program management processes and humane treatment for working with equines. The following definitions will help you have a clear understanding of the different types of equine-assisted services and what they entail. Meeting with the professionals at your local center is imperative to learn what services are offered there, and they will help determine what service best suits the individual needs of you or your participant.
EQUINE-ASSISTED LEARNING This area is a non-therapy service comprised of equine-assisted learning (EAL) in education, in organizations and in personal development. Specially trained or certified professionals leverage experiential learning activities involving interactive mounted and/or unmounted activities with horses and the equine environment to benefit participants. A center might offer any of the following:
• Equine-assisted Learning in Education: Professionals with a knowledge of learning theory and teaching methodology focus on life skills, including leadership, character-building and academic skills. They may develop contracts with schools and integrate specific educational strategies, academic standards and character education within their curricula and provision of services.
• Equine-assisted Learning in Organizations: Professionals assist members of corporations, organizations and other work groups in building effective teams and leaders that enhance work dynamics and performance. They must have knowledge of organizational theory, team building, strategic planning or leadership development and may integrate a variety of coaching and teambuilding strategies.
• Equine-assisted Learning in Personal Development: Professionals assist individuals and groups in handling life challenges and opportunities by developing skills in effective problem-solving, decision-making and communication. Service providers must have extensive training or certifications in facilitation, coaching or teaching and knowledge of the distinct differences between personal development and psychotherapy
Horse Tales- Horse Powered Reading
Using M.A.R.E.’s Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) model of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) as the foundation, Horse Tales combines social-emotional learning with academics. Students see and experience reading with their entire mind, body and emotions by creating metaphors for the skills involved in reading. Research has shown it only takes a few key reading skills combined with motivation, self efficacy/confidence, and persistence, all of which are taught by the horses, to create a rapid growth in learning & reading. Additionally, Horse Tales type programs have shown EAAT learning enhances reading skills over time as students' develop improved social-emotional skills that foster greater achievements in academics at school. Often social-emotional issues, ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues get in the way of student learning. Horse Tales can break through those issues giving students a chance to learn or reinforce reading and other academic skills. Students (k-12). Program opens 2021. Full scholarships available for those that qualify and need it most.
M.A.R.E Riding Academy
MARE Riding Academy offers lessons to volunteers, donors and siblings of our program. This not only helps keep our therapy horses in shape, but it also supports our Therapeutic Riding Program. We offer basic horseback riding, and horsemanship skills. Classes are taught by MARE Instructors, who specialize in teaching riders of all different levels of abilities. Horseback riding is an excellent form of exercise and builds confidence and life skills in responsibility. Our lessons are offered to ages 4 years and up.
Currently, a collaborative program between The Henrietta Weill Memorial Child Guidance Clinic and M.A.R.E., Stable Skillsprovides a unique approach to addressing mental health issues facing at-risk youth. The Stable Skills program presents positive character traits such as respect, courage and leadership each session through interactions with the horse. Discussions on trust, choices, body language, self-awareness, commitment, group dynamics, and attitude are all relative when working with horses. Stable Skills participants complete the program with a sense of accomplishment and a new sense of awareness about how to relate and react to the world.
PATH Intl. Member Centers provide:
Related to the broad area of horsemanship, equine professionals may offer four distinct non-therapy services that are adapted from traditional equine disciplines of horseback riding, driving, and vaulting. These include adaptive equestrian sport, adaptive riding or therapeutic riding, driving and interactive vaulting.
Related to the broad area of learning, specially trained or certified professionals may incorporate horses in three distinct non-therapy services: equine-assisted learning in education, equine-assisted learning in organizations and equine-assisted learning in personal development.
Therapies Incorporating Equines
Related to the broad area of therapy, licensed therapy professionals may incorporate horses in five distinct therapies: counseling, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychotherapy and speech-language pathology.
Equine-Assisted Services for Veterans
PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® assists military personnel and veterans through services provided by PATH International members and by providing leadership and guidance for equine-assisted services. Veterans of any age, branch, war or area of conflict can benefit from the program.