Equestrian Therapy


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Our Equestrian Therapy Program

“There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”- Winston Churchill

We at Verland know that horses significantly help our individuals develop physically, emotionally, and mentally through the discipline of horseback riding.

One of the few therapeutic treatment programs of its type in the state, our Equestrian Therapy program provides physical, occupational, and psychological therapies in a recreational setting.

According to the Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International, Equestrian therapy is widely recognized as one of the most beneficial forms of recreational therapy for those with disabilities.

Located on Verland’s main campus, the Equestrian Therapy program is renowned for the services it provides to its participants, and as a center for public education regarding the techniques and benefits of equestrian therapy.

Initially established through a generous donation, the stable complex was designed specifically for our population and their disabilities. Lessons take place year-round, weather permitting, outside or in our climate-controlled indoor arena.

An easily accessible wheelchair ramp/mounting area and a Sure Hands mechanical lift system in the ceiling makes it safe and easy to get riders on and off the horses.

How Equestrian Therapy Works

Using the movement of the horse as a basis for human movement input, treatment plans are designed by the consulting therapist and a certified therapeutic horseback riding instructor who leads the program.

Rider safety is always the primary concern of the equestrian therapy program.

The Equestrian therapy manager makes sure that the horses are screened for suitability and undergo intensive training.

Volunteers also receive specialized training to provide the necessary support to maximize the effectiveness of this program.


During a typical session, the rider is encouraged to learn introductory care of the horse and basic riding skills. Interaction with the staff, horses, and volunteers helps participants to develop and improve interaction and socialization skills.

Equine Awareness is another unique therapy offered to our individuals. This therapy allows them to assist in the everyday care of the stables, horses, and other animals.

The individuals help with modified chores including, feeding and grooming the horses and donkeys and cleaning stables and stalls. Special equipment is used as necessary.

Visitors are always welcomed at the stable to enjoy the company of the animals which include horses, miniature donkeys, chickens, a cat, and dog.