Legacy Therapeutic Riding Center

We strive to enrich the lives of children and adults with physical, mental, and emotional challenges through the healing effects and relaxed environment of horseback riding and care. The ultimate goal of our programs is to improve mobility, build confidence, and encourage personal growth through horse interaction.

 What is Equestrian Therapy?

Equestrian therapy (also known as equine therapy or equine-assisted therapy) is a form of therapy that utilizes horses to help promote emotional growth. This type of therapy is particularly applied to patients with ADD, anxiety, autism, dementia, delay in mental development, down syndrome and other genetic syndromes, depression, trauma and brain injuries, behavior and abuse issues and other mental health issues or disabilities.

Riders with disabilities have proven their remarkable equestrian skills in various national and international competitions, which is why equestrian therapy has been recognized and identified as an important area in the medical field.

Equestrian therapy is also an effective technique many therapists use to teach troubled youth and their parents/guardians on how they learn, react and follow instructions.

Why Horses?

Horses are the most popularly used animal for therapy, because horses have the ability to mirror the rider’s emotion, and they respond immediately and give instant feedback. Since horses behave similarly as human beings do in their social and responsive behavior; it is always easy for patients to establish a connection with the horse.

Therapeutic Benefits of Equestrian Training

People with cognitive, psycho-motor and behavioral disabilities have shown positive results when equestrian therapy is demonstrated properly by certified equine therapists. Just like other therapies– such as physical, occupational and speech-language– people with disabilities are being assisted by certified professionals to help cope.

 Equestrian therapy helps to:

  • Build sense of self-worth, self-concept
  • Improve communication
  • Build trust and self-efficiency
  • Develop socialization skills and decrease isolation
  • Enjoy nature and fresh air
  • Feel relaxed
  • Learn impulse control and emotional management
  • Set perspective
  • Learn their limits or boundaries

Therapetuic Riding Programs

Therapeutic riding’s unique benefits are derived from the transfer of movement from horse to rider. For people with physical, mental, or emotional challenges, therapeutic riding can be an especially powerful and liberating experience.

Lessons include instruction in basic riding and care skills as well as opportunities for social interaction, recreation, sport, therapy, and work with basic developmental concepts.

Therapeutic activities

Many clients may feel intimidated by the horse’s size and may take some time to develop trust. So other—less frightening– therapy programs that are offered are lessons on horse care, horse grooming, saddling and basic equestrian.

The process or technique to be applied during the session can be customized and depends on the type of disorder and its severity, but some primary techniques are:

  • Cognitive therapy
  • Practicing activities
  • Activity scheduling
  • Play therapy
  • Storytelling and talk therapy

In all equine activities, safety is the primary concern. Therapists ensure that patients or students are wearing helmets and other protective gear.

Veterans Healing with Horses

Equine-assisted activity and therapy programs are tailored to address specific issues faced by wounded and traumatized military personnel and veterans, while also providing a supportive and therapeutic environment for their families and loved ones.

Healing with Horses is a time just for them. A time to rebuild confidence and trust. A time to relearn to focus on the here and now. And a time to relax and let healing happen and just ‘be’. Veterans helping veterans is a key component in each participant’s success. Together, they will work on relaxation, memory skills, following directions and staying focused. Together, they will help build morale and well being. Together, they will create a social network, allowing friendships to form naturally.

Veterans interested in becoming more involved should attend a volunteer training session to learn to work with children with special needs as well as injured veterans.

Hope with Horses

For dis-engaged and at-risk high school students

While partnering with the unique attributes of the horse, the students work on skills, such as mindfulness, leadership, choices, respect, teamwork and nonverbal communication. Students in the 6th and 7th week are trained to be sidewalkers, who are then able to assist with therapeutic riding lessons for elementary students with developmental disabilities. The confidence gained by the students, while teaching the horse and care skills they have learned is truly empowering and amazing.

Get in touch

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(716) 276.8947
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