What makes a therapy horse special? Many horses are trained for particular jobs—for example, for racing, showing, pulling a carriage, trail riding , reining, and barrel racing—and are expected to learn commands and to be cooperative, well-mannered, and good-tempered. Therapy horses must be all that and more. Most therapy horses have been trained for one of these jobs and have the added personality traits of being sensible, kind, and patient.
Therapy horses must be quiet and sound at the walk, trot, and canter. A horse's walk mimics the movement of the human gait and so is beneficial for physically and cognitively challenged riders.
Therapy horses need to be comfortable with a leader, one or two sideaides (a person on each side of the horse assisting the rider), and an instructor while being ridden by students with a wide variety of behaviors and skill levels.
Therapy should be curious about new things and people rather than nervous about unfamiliar people, and places, and situations.
The horses at Special Equestrians meet all these criteria. They have been trained as riding horses and tolerate the many activities going on throughout a lesson, including tossing toys, playing wind chimes, passing balls and hoops, and working in close proximity with other riders.
To meet our herd, click on a horse's name.
If you are interested in providing financial support for our amazing horses, please go to Ways to Give.
For information on donating or leasing a horse to Special Equestrians, click here.
For an application to determine the suitability of a horse you wish to donate or lease to Special Equestrians, click here.