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 horses significantly help our individuals develop physically, emotionally and mentally through the discipline of horseback riding.

One of the few therapeutic treatment programs 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 as well as being a center for public education regarding Equestrian therapy benefit.

Initially made possible by a generous donation, the stable complex was designed 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 horse.

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 the horses are screened for suitability and undergo intensive training.

Volunteers also receive expert training to provide the necessary support to make this program possible.


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

They help with modified chores including, feeding, grooming and cleaning stables and stalls. Special equipment can be used if necessary.

Everyone at Verland is encouraged to visit the stable and enjoy the company of the animals which include horses, miniature donkeys, chickens, a cat and dog.