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Therapeutic Programming Overview

Chastain Horse Park offers three different branches of Therapeutic Programming, although similar, each program brings its own 

  • Therapy (formerly known as "Hippotherapy") - Therapy is provided by licensed medical or behavioral health professionals working within their scope of practice in counseling, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychotherapy,  or speech- language pathology. The therapist determines how equine interactions, movement or aspects of the equine environment may enhance the client’s individualized treatment plan with the goals of improving the client’s sensorimotor, cognitive, behavioral, emotional or psychological function for improved health and wellness. Best practice dictates the therapy professionals obtain specialized training focused on the safe inclusion of horses in treatment. Click here to learn more.

  • Therapeutic HorsemanshipAn area of non-therapy services focused on various riding disciplines,  for individuals or groups with diverse needs. Qualified equine professionals with specialty training or certification develop lesson plans that may include mounted and unmounted activities and fun, creative games to develop horsemanship skills and provide the healthful benefits of interacting with horses. Horseback riding has a variety of physical, social and emotional benefits. Physical health benefits include improved fitness, balance, coordination and posture. Horseback riding can also be relaxing (calming) or invigorating, depending on the horse, the environment and the activities the instructor may present. Taking place indoors and outdoors, with the horses, other riders, the instructor and a helpful team of volunteers, riding hasthe social benefits from being part of a community. The emotional benefits of riding are demonstrated through accomplishments that increase self-confidence as well as through the human/horse connection. Click here to learn more.

  • Equine Assisted Learning/Community Outreach Groups -  Chastain Horse Park's Community Outreach Program is designed to improve participants with functional life skills, provide a hands on experiential learning opportunity, non-judgmental environment and chance to be exposed to horses, horsemanship, and all the benefits provided by such experiences. The customized program for each group boosts the participant’s self-confidence and social skills. It allows individuals to interact and communicate not only with each other but with the horses as they give them commands while riding and listen to directions from the instructor. Click here to learn more.

autism therapeutic riding

Why Equine Movement?

Equine movement provides multidimensional movement, which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive. The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for increasing trunk strength and control, balance, building overall postural strength and endurance, addressing weight bearing, and motor planning. The effects of equine movement on postural control, sensory systems, and motor planning can be used to facilitate coordination and timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration skills and attention skills. Equine movement can be used to facilitate the neurophysiologic systems that support all of our functional daily living skills.

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