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Community Minute: Healing humans through horseback riding

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Horses are extremely receptive to their human companion’s needs and emotions. The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program uses this knowledge to give children and adults with disabilities a unique opportunity.

The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program provides equine-assisted activities for children and adults with disabilities, youth-at-risk, veterans, and their families in an inclusive, community setting. Lessons are taught by Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) Certified Riding Instructors and riders are assisted by up to three volunteers each, which enables riders to participate in a challenging, physically active sport. Lessons are offered seven days a week and most students ride in groups of two to four, for 45 minutes, once a week. The 45-minute lesson includes mounting and dismounting, the riding session, and sometimes grooming and tacking the horse. Riders improve balance, strength, coordination, confidence, concentration, and self-esteem. In addition, students benefit from social interaction with other students, instructors, and volunteers, cultivating decision-making, speech, and communication skills throughout each lesson.

For more information, contact:
Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program
P.O. Box 184
Clifton, VA 20124


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