For nearly 10 years, Happy Tails TR has been serving the special needs community in the heart of Monmouth County's horse country, Colts Neck. We welcome students with a wide range of disabilities, and use our lessons to highlight their individual abilities.
New students participate in a New Student Assessment, where they are introduced to a horse for the first time, and at their own pace, adjust to the new sensory stimulation provided by the farm environment. This gives our instructors the opportunity to evaluate the student through a series of directed tasks, so they can develop appropriate goals to work towards during lessons. Students may participate in both mounted and unmounted activities.
All lessons are taught by PATH International certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors. To make safety a top priority, we rely heavily on volunteers to assist with lessons.
Improves fine and gross motor skills, as both small and large muscle groups are necessary for riding
Improves balance and coordination through the natural movement of the horse
Improves core strength and stability, as the horse's movement provides both swaying and forward motion
Increases movement in the entire body to gently stimulate muscles that some disabilities impair (legs, hips, torso, shoulders, neck)
Increases self-awareness and spatial awareness
Provides positive sensory stimulation
Improves sequential thought processing
Encourages and increases communication both physically and verbally
Develops and improves social skills, as natural relationships are formed between student, instructor, volunteers, and the horse
Works as a normalizing activity, giving students an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't have to participate in a physical activity
Fosters a bond between horse and student
Diminishes frustrated or angry feeling towards impairments through successfully executing new tasks
Provides a sense of purpose, responsibility, importance and belonging
Since 1969, PATH Intl. has worked as the governing body of therapeutic horsemanship to certify over 4,800 instructors and equine specialists around the world, and promote Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).
The Power of PATH Intl.
The number of active duty and retired military veterans PATH Intl. helps around the world
The number of volunteers at PATH Intl. centers around the world
The number of equines being used at PATH Intl. centers around the world
The number of children and adults served by PATH Intl. around the world