The Camelot Center provides a perfect foundation for a lifetime with horses. Each session is divided into one hour, weekly lessons, which include grooming/tacking, safety lessons, barn lessons and riding. A physician’s release is required to participate in this course. Riders must be at least 4 years of age; however, there is no upper age limit. Participants may or may not have a disability.
What to Expect
What can a person expect from therapeutic riding? As each person is different, so, also, is each rider`s experience with their riding lesson. Many have experienced positive benefits from therapeutic horseback riding.
Therapeutic riding utilizes the horseback riding experience to aid individuals in many ways. The movement of a walking horse is very similar to our own gait. As the person rides, the side to side, up and down, and back and forth motion activates and strengthens muscle groups. The core muscles can become stronger, leading to better mobility, balance, and posture. Riding lessons provide recreational opportunities that may increase mobility, flexibility, and self-confidence. Activities such as basketball and ring toss are used to increase hand/eye coordination and make the ride even more fun.
New strengths can be gained as the rider relaxes and enjoys the riding experience. During their lessons, riders are encouraged to learn to use their voice to speak commands to their horse and to guide them with the reins. Imagine the feeling of accomplishment when a rider learns that this huge animal listens to their commands! What a confidence booster to be able to say “I ride horses”!
Social needs are also met through the interaction with our instructors, volunteers, and, of course, our horses. Empathy for animals and people is a vital social skill that we encourage. Learning to care for horses helps to develop a sense of responsibility and a connection to nature and animals.
Our riding lessons have also instilled a love of horseback riding, and taught the basics of horsemanship to riders who have gone on to become accomplished in their own right. Some of our former riders have competed at the Ohio State Fair and other competitions.
Therapeutic horseback riding, like any other activity, may not be for everyone, and the benefits may be different for each rider, but we have seen many success stories through the years. These successes fuel our desire to provide therapeutic horseback riding to those who are willing to try something new. We hope it will be a great experience for you!