We want everyone to take advantage of the benefits of riding horses. And that is why we offer therapeutic riding, or adaptive riding.
We offer 8 week sessions (1 hour/week) of equine facilitated therapy, guided by a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) certified instructor and two volunteer assistants who will ensure that you are safe. This service is individualized and focused on adults and children with developmental or physical disabilities.
Are adaptive riding lessons right for you?
Adaptive riding lessons are a wonderful experience for people with disabilities or physical limitations. There is evidence (and we see it first hand) that people with autism or traumatic brain injury improve their social and cognitive skills simply by being with horses.
People who have Cerebral Palsy strengthen their back and core muscles and improve their balance while riding horses.
If you need exercise but you cannot use your legs, the movement of the horse will work your muscles.
“I continue to be blown away by how effective adaptive riding is,” said Kristin Foree Tobias. I’ve never seen leaps and bounds like I do when kids are on a horse. I really believe in it. And we’re making kids happy.”
Kristin Foree Tobias’ professional background
Kristin has had a lifelong journey with horses.
She was trained in horsemanship from Olympic Gold Medalist, Don Sashay. And for five years she was trained by Michelle Hastletan, who ran a horse camp in Northern California. “This was how I learned how to run a good camp,” said Tobias. “Our camps are based on the camps at her ranch.”
Even though she didn’t have any experience with kids with disabilities at the time, she knew she wanted to wanted to do something to help. Her next position was with Advanced Kids, in Sacramento, CA, where she learned Applied Behavior Analysis. There she worked with kids with severe behaviors (like hurting themselves and others). She found out that she loved reaching kids who needed emotional support.
Next she had a position at Comprehensive Autism, where she worked with children who had autism and trained their families.
Meanwhile she was earning her degree in psychology from Cal State, in San Marcos. Her emphasis was on physiological psychology.
After receiving her degree she worked in an adult mental health facility. While it was a good learning experience, she didn’t feel like it was a good fit. Intuitively she knew that kids with a range of disabilities needed to be on horses. But she didn’t know how to make that into a career.
When she moved to Santa Fe she was an administrator for the Developmental Disability Waiver Act.
And that’s when the opportunity presented itself.
A friend mentioned that there was a barn for sale. And that night she had a dream that she bought the barn and made it into a facility for adaptive riding lessons.
In order to sign up for Horse Therapy, you’ll need to download the Horse Therapy Packet, print the forms, and complete them.