Therapeutic riding offers a unique opportunity for those with limitations to be empowered with a sense of pride, accomplishment and independence. To achieve the ability to communicate with and control a 1,000lb. animal can take confidence to great heights. Therapeutic riding teaches actual riding skills utilizing the horse as a therapeutic, instructional tool. The lessons are structured so that each rider increases their abilities at their own speed. Many riders excel to become very proficient and independent riders. This secure yet challenging environment helps clients reach goals such as:
* Strengthen postural control and core balance
* Improve motor function
* Increase ability to concentrate
* Gain a greater sense of self-esteem and accomplishment
* Enhance communication and social skills
Hippotherapy literally means “treatment with the help of a horse” from the Greek word “hippos” meaning horse. An occupational, physical or speech therapist utilizes the horse’s movement to achieve functional outcomes. In hippotherapy the horse influence the client rather than the client controlling the horse. The client is positioned on the horse and actively responds to its movement. Specific riding skills are not taught (as in therapeutic horseback riding); but rather a foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This foundation increases
* Postural strength
* Range of motion
* Ability to concentrate and follow directions
* Motivates improved speech and behavior
Horses for Heroes
As many service men and women continue to return to the United States injured we are honored and privileged to offer a new program that provides therapy to our injured service personnel.
HOPE will now offer, at no cost, a way for service personnel and their families to experience the benefits of riding and therapy without the confines of a typical therapy setting.
HOPE is proud to be partnering with Horses for Heroes with the goal of serving those who have served us. For more information about Horses for Heroes at HOPE please call our program director Susan Mincey at (352) 495-0533. For more information about Horses for Heroes as a national program click here: Project Healing Horses
HOPE's program, Pony Pals, offers visitation services by our new miniature horse, Rocky. Rocky came to HOPE from Personal Ponies, a group that places minis with organizations and individuals for therapeutic needs. Rocky visits hospitals, schools, nursing facilities and other community organizations. Rocky is in need of a guardian angel to ensure his needs are met each and every month - if you are interested in sponsoring Rocky, or have questions about the program please contact us.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
HOPE offers yet another program that has received widespread acceptance in the United States called “Equine Assisted Psychotherapy” (EAP). Clinical studies indicate that equine facilitated psychotherapy can have a tremendous positive impact for those dealing with issues related to anxiety, attachment, attention deficit/impulse control disorders, addictions, depression, grief and loss, traumatic stress and relational problems. Through specially designed interactive experiences, the therapy program promotes psychosocial healing and growth by:
* Improving awareness and mindfulness
* Developing trust in a safe environment
* Encouraging responsibility
* Providing communication, social and problem solving skills
* Enhancing choice-making and goal-setting skills
* Promoting pro-social attitudes