For many people, horseback riding is a fun hobby. But for some with special needs, it can be much more than that: it can be a form of therapy.
A nonprofit organization in New Canaan, Connecticut, aims to provide therapeutic benefits to those with special needs. The organization, New Canaan Mounted Troop, generally aims to teach horseback riding and equine care to kids and teens ages seven to 17, but it also has a program called Super Troopers that is specifically tailored to children and adults with special needs.
The organization offers two different Super Troopers programs: Therapeutic Equine Care Program and Therapeutic Riding Program. Both programs feature small class sizes and PATH certified instructors who can help the students get the most out of their sessions.
The Equine Care Program aims to teach kids and adults with special needs the proper way to care for a horse—that includes bathing, brushing, and picking hooves. In this program, students form an emotional bond with horses by caring for them. The goal of this program is to help students develop a variety of important skills like social, physical, emotional, and cognitive. It also gives them a sense of pride that comes with equine care.
The Therapeutic Riding Program, on the other hand, is pretty self-explanatory: it involves riding horses. However, it is also customized to help individuals with special needs get unique and individualized therapeutic benefits.
In the video below, you will be able to see a few students who have benefitted greatly from these programs…and had lots of fun in the process!
Kayla MacKenzie, for example, is a 26-year-old woman with autism, a seizure disorder, and a chromosomal abnormality. Through the program, she has had fun and experienced the thrill of success (which is undoubtedly a confidence-builder!).
Learn more about the awesome Super Troopers program in the video below!
A. Stout received a Bachelor of Arts in Writing through Grand Valley State University, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 2015. In addition to being a passionate autism advocate, she is a member of various fandoms, a study abroad alumna, and an animal lover. She dreams of publishing novels and traveling all over the world someday.
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