REINS (Riders Excelling in New Skills)

REINS is a multi-sensory equine-assisted learning program for children with social, behavioral, and cognitive challenges and children on the Autism Spectrum. Through our experience in individual therapeutic riding lessons and in group lessons with partner schools/organizations, SE has gained a clearer perspective on what it takes to “reach” and impact youth who struggle to manage their behavior, connect positively with peers, and apply sustained effort to a challenging task. These are skills that our families and our partner organizations feel are critical for day-to-day achievement in school.

The goals of REINS are to:

  • integrate mounted and unmounted activities to improve learning curves
  • enhance the ability to improve academics
  • develop social, relational, and team-building skills
  • increase socialization and expand social skills

Activities include:

  • therapeutic riding
  • basic horsemanship, horse care, and barn care
  • communication games

At SE, an EAL experience combining unmounted with mounted activity takes place in a truly “therapeutic” environment. Our organization exists solely to care for animals and extend a warm welcome and a supportive assist to individuals with special needs.

  • Unmounted interaction with horses—sentient beings who give clear signs when they feel frustration, fear, contentment, etc.—can create openings for change.
  • Horseback riding itself is an intrinsically calming and healing rhythmic body experience.
  • A small group (2-6 riders) allows our Therapeutic Riding Instructors the opportunity to provide socialization while maintaining a focus on each rider's individual needs.

Organizations partnering with Special Equestrians for group activities include the Lakeside School, The Quaker School at Horsham, Central Bucks East High School, and Tamanend Middle School. We offer weekly group sessions and one-day programs, each comprised of both mounted and unmounted components.

Would you like to help support this program? Please Donate Now. Our students and our horses thank you!