River Valley Riders
Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
MissionOur mission is to enrich the lives of children and adults with special needs by providing equine assisted activities and therapies. River Valley Riders creates an environment where people can connect with horses in activities that are adapted to their physical, social, and learning challenges. These activities benefit a wide range of participants including children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental delay, traumatic brain injury, paralysis and many other types of disabilities. The benefits of our program include improvement of balance, increase of core strength, development of self-confidence, and improvement of social skills.
What We DoResearch demonstrates that therapeutic horseback riding can have many benefits.
Because a horse's gait is similar to the human walk, this three-dimensional movement is transferred from the horse to the rider and helps to strengthen spine and pelvic muscles and improve posture and balance. Additional exercises during lessons help to improve coordination and increase flexibility.
Lessons incorporate educational activities to improve hand-eye coordination and communication, as well as reading and math skills.
Riders develop self-confidence and self-esteem by accomplishing challenges as independently as possible. The instructors and volunteers always interact with the riders with patience and kindness while our horses offer unconditional acceptance.