Adaptive Riding

Description: Adaptive Riding/Therapeutic Riding:

The terms “adaptive riding” and “therapeutic riding” are synonymous.  These terms are commonly used to refer to horseback riding lessons for individuals with special needs, taught by horseback riding instructors who have received specialized training and may be certified to teach riding lessons to students with disabilities.  These instructors adapt their teaching style, the environment and/or equipment to facilitate acquisition of riding skills and participation in an enjoyable activity.  When participating in riding lessons, opportunities may be available for riders to participate in competitive equestrian events, recreation and leisure, education, socialization, and/or fitness.

Horseback riding lessons for individuals with special needs are taught by experienced Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) riding instructors who have received specialized training and are often certified to work with students with disabilities. These instructors adapt their teaching style, the environment and/or equipment to facilitate acquisition of riding skills and participation in an enjoyable activity. Opportunities are available to participate in competitive equestrian events, recreation and leisure, education, socialization, and/or fitness.    Adaptive riding sessions are recreational sessions focused on teaching a person to ride horses independently. Lessons may be private or in small groups of 2 participants. Adaptive riding and typical riding lessons are not covered by health insurance.able the special needs rider to work on improving knowledge of horsemanship, riding skills, balance, coordination, following directions and completing multi-step obstacles, socialization, self-esteem, and sense of accomplishment.

Issue Brief:

The inclusion of hippotherapy in an occupational therapy, physical therapy or speech therapy treatment plan should not be confused with participation in adaptive riding/therapeutic riding.

AHA, Inc. is aware of consumer confusion based on information in marketing materials regarding the benefits of riding lessons.  Claims of riding instructors working on fine and gross motor skills, cognition, speech and language skills, sensory difficulties, communication, muscle tone, impaired gait and a variety of other functional limitations through horseback riding lessons may place consumers at risk.  Claims such as these may create an impression that “clinical treatment services” are being rendered by horseback riding instructors.  While participation in sports and recreational activities, such as horseback riding, can be beneficial, “therapeutic riding”/ ”adaptive riding” should not be regarded as a medical therapy service or a means of habilitation/rehabilitation.  There are ethical and legal implications when an individual without the appropriate education and training imply that they can make assessment decisions and improvements to function for individuals with special needs using an adaptive sport.

Age Restrictions: All participants must be at least 4 years of age.

Fees ADAPTIVE RIDING 

  • Individual Adaptive Riding Lesson:   $45.00 per 30-minute session.
  • Group Lessons 2-3: $45.00 per 45-minute session.
    • A block of eight (8) half hour sessions can be purchased, in advance, for $350.00 (a saving of $35.00 over paying for each session individually).
    • A block of eight (8) sessions needs to be used in a ten (10) week period.
    • Exceptions will be made on an individual basis.

Missed Lessons:

Cancellations really hurt!  Making Strides of Virginia has staff, volunteers and horses ready for a session and no one to participate. Please help us respect the time of our volunteers and staff.  We do understand that unexpected medical conditions can affect our riders and, if that is the case, we will discuss tuition adjustments on an individual bass.  If Making Strides of Virginia cancels an appointment, we will notify you by phone as soon as we can and credit your account.  If you do not show up for a lesson and you do not call, you will be charged for the appointment.