Our mounted sessions are held on Sundays from 9:30 to 12:30 at Horseplay Equestrian Center. Our season follows the school schedule and generally runs from August to the end of May. Our riders are scheduled in groups of 4-5 starting at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30. The sessions begin with a short grooming period followed by a 25 to 30 minute riding lesson. Lessons focus on learning riding skills, but while mounted our riders are building core strength, improving their balance and posture, working on bilateral activities and crossing midline, learning to pay attention and follow directions. Our lesson plans incorporate activities such as matching or identifying colors, shapes, letters or numbers; sequencing; team work; motor planning; following directions; and taking turns.
Advanced rider lessons
Once one of our riders shows that he/she can sit independently on the horse, begin to control their horse off the leadline, and most importantly, pay attention to the instructor and follow directions, we can move them out of our group lessons into individual private lessons with an instructor from Horseplay. This is an excellent “ramp up” opportunity for our riders with special needs and offers them a tremendous boost in self esteem and confidence.
As many of our riders with special needs come to the program with brothers and sisters, we have been able to establish a program to allow the siblings of our riders to have a private lesson taught by the Horseplay instructor while their brother or sister is participating in our group lessons. This has provided a common interest and bonding between the siblings. As there are not a lot of activities that both typically developing and special needs children can participate in together, this program has been well received by our families.