ABOUT US

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.  

Student Benefits

Physical

  • 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)

Cognitive

  • Increases self-awareness and spatial awareness

  • Provides positive sensory stimulation

  • Improves sequential thought processing

  • Improves concentration 

  • Encourages and increases communication both physically and verbally

Emotional

  • 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

  • Increases confidence 

  • 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). 

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© 2018 Happy Tails Therapeutic Riding

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