Improving the quality of life for children & adults with disabilities by promoting self esteem, social skills & physical therapy that blossoms & grows through contact with horses.

POPULATION SERVED

Fire Horse Farm's therapeutic horseback riding program serves a broad range of people. Students of all ages benefit from FHF's programs.

Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, mental retardation, abuse, hearing and visual impairment, traumatic brain injuries, strokes, and learning disabilities, are a few of the disabilities people may have who participate in our programs. Generally, students become aware of Fire Horse Farm through word of mouth, media coverage, or referrals from teachers, therapists or physicians. There is a class fee of $25.00 for our therapeutic riding services; however, NO STUDENT IS DECLINED BECAUSE OF INABILITY TO PAY.

Donations from local businesses, civic groups, and foundations provide the support necessary for our students to participate. Approximately 70% of students rely on scholarship assistance.

PRINCIPAL STAFF

Fire Horse Farm currently operates with one part-time volunteer instructor, one volunteer instructor in training, more than twenty volunteers, and 4 horses. Instructors are trained and certified through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA), the national organization which sets high safety standards for therapeutic riding instructors and facilities.

Instructors must maintain annual CPR and First Aid certification and are required to receive at least 20 continuing education hours each year in therapeutic riding and/or teaching fields. Volunteers are a necessity to Fire Horse Farm. They assist instructors during classes, groom and saddle horses, clean equipment, and help with facility maintenance. Volunteers are trained extensively to ensure they feel comfortable working with horses, and people with disabilities. For the safety of students, volunteers, staff, and horses receive intensive training before becoming a part of the Fire Horse Farm team. Continuous, ongoing training of all horses is required throughout their years of service.

PROGRAM PROCEDURES

Upon a physician's approval for equestrian activities, a progressive lesson plan is designed for each qualifying student. The plan is implemented through weekly classes by a NARHA certified therapeutic riding instructor. Therapeutic riding classes range from 30 to 90 minutes, depending on the student's age and capabilities. Emphasis is placed on providing a safe, educational, and physically beneficial riding lesson that challenges and motivates each student, regardless of his/her disability. Weekly lesson plans document changes and improvements in the student's physical, mental and/or social condition.

PHYSICAL BENEFITS

The merits of physical exercise for a human body are indisputable. People with disabilities, however, are often excluded from the very activities that would benefit them most. Horseback riding is a form of exercise ideally suited for individuals with disabilities.

While sitting on the back of a walking horse, a student's upper and lower muscles and joints are exercised, exactly as if they were walking. Moreover, spasticity is decreased, balance and coordination is challenged, range of motion is enhanced, and strength and endurance improve. These benefits occur regardless of the student's physical abilities.

PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

The psychological benefits of therapeutic riding are an important element of our program, and enhance the physical benefits students receive. Learning to control a 1100 pound animal builds self-confidence, promotes independence, and students are proud of their accomplishments. This psychological boost is a vital part of our program whether the student is a young child with Down Syndrome, a troubled teen, or an elderly person challenged with the effects of a stroke. Riding also contributes to other improvements in their daily lives. Many students express feeling a sense of freedom when they ride. Furthermore the bond between rider and horse is instrumental in breaking through the barriers of distrust and fear with students, who have suffered from abuse.

EDUCATIONAL & SOCIAL BENEFITS

Educational skills such as learning the alphabet, colors, word association, sequential thinking, appropriate behavioral issues, etc. are incorporated into the therapeutic riding classes, based on the students' needs. Therapeutic riding helps broaden the attention span of children with disabilities by encouraging them to focus on an activity, which is both fun and educational. Horseback riding offers immediate rewards and positive re-enforcement for our students who often struggle to succeed in traŹditional classroom settings.

Most students have individual class times, however, small group classes promote cooperation, teamwork and social interaction. Horseback riding teaches new skills, provides an opportunity to make new friends and is a fun experience with a positive purpose.

PROGRAM IMPACT

Therapeutic riding is the foundation of Fire Horse Farm.. For example, students learn not only how to groom, saddle and ride a horse, but also experience personal growth, and the necessary self-motivation to reach beyond the limits of their disability. Family members of students benefit by seeing their loved one, who faces life with a disability, participate in a recreational activity without prejudice or ridicule.

Volunteers receive a rewarding sense of satisfaction from helping students attain new goals and reach higher levels of achievement. Many volunteers and students also enjoy learning new skills such as sign language, horse health care and nutrition.

For consideration for your special someone, please go to our Student Application

We always have a need for Volunteers and/or donations.
We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization and your donation is tax deductible.

Fire Horse Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center
A 501c3 nonprofit organization

Phone: 903-740-3473
Email: fire_horse_farm@yahoo.com


About FHF ~ Instructors ~ Volunteering ~ Photos ~ Student Application ~ Juvenile Intervention ~ Home ~


Content © Fire Horse Farm
Therapeutic Equestrian Center
Design © A+ Web Designers
July 12, 2010

  Web Site Design by:
Jeanie Stewart
A+ Web Designers