To offer equine-assisted therapy to children with special needs for as long as those needs exist in our world.
- To offer effective and creative equine-assisted therapy to children with special needs
- To provide a positive, non-judgmental environment for riders and their families
- To encourage the development of human-animal relationships
- To use our riding activities in support of the goals from other therapies, schools, etc.
To develop a relationship with and respect for horses and fellow humans.
The understanding and acceptance of one’s own limitations, and the caring of other with more needs than our own.
The need to care for and respect animals and people.
For all involved to witness that the program could not exist without people giving their time and energy.
The art of practicing focus to achieve all types of goals.
For all horses and humans within the program and beyond.
Misty Meadows Mitey Riders provides equine-assisted therapy to special needs children, ranging in age from 5-17, with varying conditions including autism, cerebral palsy and Down Syndrome, and more. Over 60 families come each week to participate in a unique and creative therapeutic riding program. Riders experience a variety of activities which challenge them cognitively, physically and socially, all while developing a long-term relationship with horses. Therapeutic riding truly is a one-of-a-kind experience for all who participate – riders, parents, volunteers, instructors and the horses as well!
Class activities are designed to challenge and benefit our riders in physical, cognitive and social ways, and are a combination of riding skills and creative educational games. The basic riding skills we teach and develop include: walk, halt, trot, 2-point, turning, barrel courses, cavaletti poles and more. In addition, we strengthen these skills through games such as basketball, beanbag toss, memory, matching and more. For added benefit, we take riders through our Sensory Trail – an interactive learning trail ride within the wooded acres of Misty Meadow Farm.