On the farm …
We offer a variety of services to meet the needs of many different people,
including not only those who benefit from therapeutic riding and other equine-assisted activities,
but also members of the public interested in learning about human-equine partnerships and much more.
FOR KIDS, TEENS & ADULTS
We offer these services year-round, broken into four semesters (winter, spring, summer and fall) varying in length from six to 12 weeks. Certified therapeutic riding instructions, with the assistance of specially trained volunteers, conduct each session. Based on the needs of each participant, we explore the benefits of the human-equine bond through two main avenues.
- Therapeutic Riding: This course consists of both mounted and unmounted sessions (30 minutes each) providing participants with opportunities to develop riding skills learn how to care for horses. This program may be appropriate for children and adults working toward physical, educational, social, emotional or sensory goals. It includes one session on the same time and day each week.
- Unmounted Horsemanship: This course focuses on participants gaining skills related to horse care and handling as well as stable upkeep. All sessions (30 minutes each) are unmounted, well suited for children and adults who are unable or choose not to ride while working on memory goals, following directions, reinforcing appropriate behavior or participating in positive physical activity. It includes one session on the same time and day each week.
- Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL): The focus of equine-assisted learning is on life skills development. Participants may take part in many of the same equine activities as above whether ground work, riding or carriage driving. However, the focus of each session is on self-development such as personal safety, confidence, building trusting relationships, awareness of interactions with others, etc. EAL sessions vary from 30-minute private sessions to groups of teens or adults for up to 2 hours, depending on the goals.
To ensure we’re able to best meet the needs of each participant, a completed application and assessment is required before a student begins one of our therapeutic programs. Please contact us for an application packet, or download forms to print from home. Scholarship forms are also available upon request.
Current participants: Reference our participant handbook anytime.
workshops & specialty programs
Throughout the year we offer a number of learning opportunities that are open to the general public and professionals. These offerings incorporate equine-assisted learning, an experiential hands-on approach to aid in developing greater self-awareness through activities with the therapy horses, guided by Hidden Acres professional staff. Activities are unmounted (not riding) and prior experience with horses is not required.
Space is limited and additional release forms will be required once we receive your registration form for any educational offerings or special programs.
- The Equine-Assisted Learning Approach (for healthcare, counseling and equine professionals): Join Rebecca Caruso (LCSW/PATH instructor) and Jeanna Pellino, (PATH instructor/equine specialist in mental health & learning) for this four-hour workshop that provides an introduction to this unique and effective approach of partnering with horses to help individuals with emotional challenges. Through a series of experiential ground exercises (not riding), attendees will learn the benefits of EAL and how mental health and equine professionals can partner in the care of clients through supportive equine-assisted activities.
(4 CEUs for specified professionals.)
Click for registration forms with more information on cost, dates and times for upcoming workshops.
- Journey Into Awareness (for adults): Horses are dynamic, graceful and gentle creatures that provide us with the opportunity to learn valuable information about ourselves. This four-hour workshop takes attendees on a “journey” with horses through a series of unmounted (not riding) activities designed to build greater self-awareness and apply the special lessons learned from horses to daily life. Click for registration forms with more information on cost, dates and times for upcoming workshops.
- Respite Ranch Rejuvenation Session (for adults): Treat yourself to an afternoon of rejuvenation with Hidden Acres therapy horses. Relax, de-stress, and reconnect with your authentic self and the environment. Attendees will participate in a series of activities designed with and around the horses (not riding) to practice mindfulness, self-expression and relaxation. Click for registration forms with more information on cost, dates and times for upcoming sessions.
FOR KIDS & TEENS
- Pathways Program (for ages 12 to 19): This six-week program includes weekly 90-minute sessions designed to teach skills that will help local teens deal with the challenges of everyday adolescent life, including critical thinking and communication, self-awareness, empathy, confidence and esteem. Participants engage in experiential learning activities with Hidden Acres staff and therapy horses designed to shift their perspective in a supportive environment. All activities are unmounted (not riding). Click for registration forms with more information on cost, dates and times for upcoming programs.
- Horse Spirit Summer Sessions (for ages 6 to 14): This is a unique integrated summer camp style program for all experience levels that brings together participants with and without special needs for team building, horsemanship, games, crafts and other fun activities! Each day they’ll be guided by our certified riding instructors through both mounted and unmounted activities appropriate for their skill level in an effort to promote self-expression and strive toward personal goals in a relaxing, supportive environment. Click for registration forms with more information on cost, dates and times for upcoming sessions. Note: Current therapeutic riders only need to complete the first page.
FOR FAMILIES & OTHER GROUPS
- Family Corral (for families): An exciting new program that invites parents and children to come together at the farm for an afternoon of learning with Hidden Acres staff and therapy horses. Staff will blend positive parenting techniques with fun hands-on activities with the horses that focus on building skills such as developing mutual respect, establishing boundaries and building trusting relationships. All activities are unmounted (not riding). Dates to be determined.
- Customized programs, field trips and more: We are happy to design a specialty program that meets the needs of your academic group, alternative school, assisted living community, group home or business. We’re open to developing one-time or ongoing equine experiences. Costs vary depending on length and needs of the group. Please contact us to discuss details.