PATH Intl Certified Riding Instructors, specially trained horses and volunteers work together to provide the highest quality experience for both children and adults with a wide variety of special needs. These may include autism spectrum disorder, Down Syndrome, CP, MS, TBI, developmental or cognitive disorders, hearing or sight impaired and more.
The physical act of riding improves balance, posture, trunk control, spacial awareness, motor function, strength and coordination. Other benefits include increased attention, communication skills, speech and social skills.
Equine Assisted Learning
Equine Assisted Learning addresses a wide variety of needs and is customized to meet the specific therapeutic or educational goals of each participant. Some of these goals include learning strategies for overcoming anxiety and depression, identifying, regulating and improving moods and overall mental health, improving congnitive function and the ability to follow a specific set of multi-step instructions. Other goals may include learning empathy for animals as well as other people, improving self-advocacy, communication and social skills, improving self-esteem and confidence. EAL is also used to meet specific educational goals determined by a parent, educator or additional service provider. EAL sessions are conducted by a professional educator and a PATH Intl certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Sessions are primarily conducted using ground work techniques. If riding is incorporated, a certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor will facilitate the session. We would be happy to customize an Equine Assisted Learning session to meet your specific needs! Feel free to call us for more info.
Horses 4 Heroes
This program is specifically designed for veterans, active duty military, law enforcement personnel, first responders and their families. We offer hope and healing in a supportive and inclusive environment. Our staff personalizes each participants goals according to their individual needs and offers the opportunity to improve their physical, mental and emotional health. The unique challenges created by years of service, military training, combat and moral injury are all considered very carefully. Working with our horses offers the opportunity to reduce stress, anxiety depression, anger, isolation and the effects of PTSD. Equine activities offer the participant strategies for healing broken relationships and a more successfully integrating into society after the wounds of war, or years of being on the job, may have left them feeling isolated.
"Victory Hill Therapeutic Horsemanship is a shining example of the kind of initiatives that will help to reintegrate our veteran into civilian life, combat the effects of PTSD and effectively reduce the rates of homelessness and of suicide." - HVVTF Member
A recent study by the Columbia College of Nursing at the University of Wisconsin documented that in just 6 weeks of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) veterans suffering from the challenges of PTSD showed a remarkable 67% improvement in only 3 weeks and an 87% improvement in only 6 weeks of working with horses!
Hope for Healers
During the Covid-19 pandemic, healthcare workers suffered tremendous physical and emotional strain as they struggled with the immensity of what they were witnessing. This left many feeling helpless, hopeless, emotionally drained and believing that they would never be the same. Through equine assisted activities and therapy (EAAT), conducted by Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning and licensed counselors, we will work with each participant to help them bond with our specially trained equines and open the door to healing and wholeness once again. EAAT has been documented through evidence based research to restore a sense of hope and purpose that helps a person to heal at a much faster rate than traditional therapies alone.
Here at Victory Hill Therapeutic Horsemanship we offer teens and adults the opportunity to receive job training that can be used in almost any setting. The skills they learn can be used to successfully maintain employment. Broad job skills include prioritizing tasks, following multi-step instructions, having a boss, good communication, self-advocacy, relating to and getting along with co-workers and more. Participants can also learn about stable management, horse care, farm animal care (sheep, goats, donkeys, chickens, ducks, dogs and cats). Programs are individually designed to meet the needs and goals of each participant.
Hippotherapy is conducted by a Doctor of Physical Therapy at Victory Hill TH. This program is best suited for ages two and a half to eight years old and ideal for children whose physician has recommended physical or occupational therapy. Strengthens muscle groups, improves balance, coordination, spatial/body awareness, postural control and both large and fine motor skills. To see a small sample of a Hippotherapy class, play the videos below.