Equine Assisted Activities (EAA) & Therapeutic Riding
Mounted and un-mounted activities that work in partnership with the horse are considered equine-assisted activities (EAA). Hidden Acres blends therapeutic horseback riding and un-mounted horsemanship, bringing together horses, individuals with needs, trained volunteers, and certified equine professionals to provide therapeutic benefits and enrich the lives of all involved. A unique experience, activities with the horse provides the motivation and encouragement participants need to move towards goal achievement.
There are numerous benefits to Therapeutic Riding & Equine Assisted Activities (EAA) including:
Physical – When riding, we receive the same three dimensional hip rotation on the horse as if we were walking, which provides significant opportunities for building strength and endurance. Additional activities are provided to incorporate goals such as improving coordination, motor planning and spatial awareness.
Emotional – Bonding with the horse, fostering positive relationships, and the confidence gained when developing new skills, often lead to reduced anxiety and increased self esteem.
Social – Interacting with volunteers and staff is a great way to practice appropriate social skills. We understand that our participants may be working on developing these skills and are given an opportunity to do so in a supportive environment.
Sensory –The EAA environment is rich with sensory experiences from the movement of the horse, tactile experiences such as grooming, and the many sights and sounds the stable and trails provide.
Education – Hidden Acres strives to provide a positive learning experience based on the needs and level of each participant. An individual’s learning goals may include developing riding skills or reinforcing skills such as focus and following directions. We provide participants with the time they need to learn at their own pace and feel successful.
Communication Skills – There are many opportunities to address communication and valuable life skills in the therapeutic setting. Providing verbal cues to the horse and interacting with staff and volunteers reinforce expressive communication skills. Most importantly, learning how horses communicate with each other in the herd and with humans, provide valuable lessons in understanding body language, personal boundaries and developing observation skills.
A Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International member center, Hidden Acres adheres to PATH Guidelines and Standards for safe, quality services.