Horseback riding is more than just a fun hobby! Equine assisted therapy is the practice of using horseback riding as a method of therapy targeting a comprehensive range of specific skills and behaviors. Therapeutic riding positively impacts the cognitive, emotional, social, and physical wellbeing of our students with special needs. This is an excellent activity that allows students with various disabilities and delays to enjoy the outdoors while improving balance, flexibility, and muscle strength. Because riding a horse rhythmically simulates the human gait, riders with certain limitations can benefit greatly from regular sessions. Each horse is highly trained to cater to specific needs and abilities, so that we can match every individual with the perfect horse.
Wondering how it works? We combine engaging activities with the pleasure of horseback riding to boost fine and gross motor skills. Our children and adults may do this by carefully removing clothespins from the horse’s mane, reaching across their midline to pull a clothespin from a bag and throwing it to the opposite side, and tossing rings onto cones among other activities. Each of these games requires a complex series of steps that target balance, hand-eye coordination, environmental awareness, and other crucial skills that carry over to other areas of life on and off of a horse.
Cowboy & Cowgirl Camp
What’s a ranch without cowboys and cowgirls? Join the fun in summer and fall with our Cowboy & Cowgirl Camp program, with all abilities welcome and options available for daytime and overnight stays! Cowboy & Cowgirl Camp is our overnight program while Riding Day Camp for older children and Little Buckaroo’s Day Camp for younger kids allows your child to enjoy the cowboy way of life in a fun daytime setting.
Campers enjoy horse care and riding lessons, picnics, bonfires, scavenger hunts, and crafts for an exciting outdoor experience. Spots are limited for participation, so we recommend reserving your child’s camp dates early! All riders must also complete and sign an application and release form beforehand.
Have you always dreamed of learning horseback riding? We provide the perfect opportunity to learn and practice proper horseback riding and horse care skills that last a lifetime! Our riding lessons are available to everyone of all abilities from 5 to 65, with or without special needs. Whether you’re brand new to horses or brushing up on some rusty skills, we walk you through each step so you can ride with confidence. This also includes lessons for those looking to participate in specific horseback activities like trail riding, barrel racing, pole bending, and more.
All lessons are scheduled at the convenience of the rider and provided right here at Sheltering Tree Ranch using one of our trained horses, although lessons can be provided at another location if you have your own horse and a suitable riding area. And remember, horseback riding is more than just sitting on a horse! Our lessons include everything you need to know to care for and form a lasting relationship with your horse, from proper grooming and saddling to working your horse from the ground.
Riding Lessons Include:
Basic horse parts and tack
How to groom and saddle a horse
Basic to intermediate riding skills