For more information, reservations or directions, call Linda at 248 634-7276 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also posted on the Website www.prettyponypastures.org/Riding.htm.
Parents are invited to bring the entire family for an afternoon of horse-related activities that include grooming a horse, horse games and a short horseback riding lesson. These activities will give parents an opportunity to find out if horseback riding can be beneficial for their child.
When you think of a horseback riding, you picture a gentle trail ride with the riders enjoying the scenery, but for a child with autism or other special needs, horseback riding may be his or her mode of becoming more independent, learning social skills, and becoming comfortable with the sensory and tactile activities of grooming and riding. With the start of the new school year, most children are registering for sport activities that many children with disabilities cannot participate in. Therapeutic horseback riding gives these children an opportunity to learn new skills while actively participating in a sport.
Although therapeutic horseback riding is not new, its benefits, which include strengthening muscles, improving balance, and increasing confidence, have only been realized in the past 50 years.
“Therapeutic horseback riding helps level the playing field for persons with disabilities. Our riders not only learn a skill, but also compete in our annual show. The have a sense of accomplishment that they may not be able to attain in any other sport,” said Linda Watson.
On Sept. 14, all riders can take advantage of the horseback riding lessons, which are scheduled every 30 minutes. The cost is $10 per rider and must be scheduled in advance. There is a weight restriction of 175 pounds to ride. All other activities that day are free.
Jerry Wolffe is the Writer in Residence & Advocate at Large for the Macomb-Oakland Regional Center. He can be reached at 586 263-8950.