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Therapeutic Riding Programs

 

All Swiftsure equestrian programs fall under the Therapeutic Riding discipline.  Individuals participate in weekly riding sessions focused on learning horsemanship skills which promote independence, build strength and coordination, improve cognitive processing and foster social skills. Participants build skills and work toward practical goals such as going on a trail ride, competing in a horse show, learning to jump or learning to herd cows.  The following are therapeutic riding special programs offered to Swiftsure participants who qualify.  Please see program descriptions below for more detailed information.

Blaine County School Program

During the school year, Swiftsure provides an equine-assisted learning classroom for students in a special education program or on an individualized education program (IEP). Over 40 students from seven classrooms participate in therapeutic riding weekly, working towards their IEP goals.  Students learn complete horsemanship skills both on the ground and while mounted.

Trail Riding

With the use of Swiftsure-designed saddles, students who have progressed from supported therapeutic riding lessons in the arena to independent riding are taken on trail rides. Our saddles allow people faced with profound physical conditions to experience the beauty of the Wood River Valley astride a horse.

GALLOP Program

Swiftsure fills a gap for teens with social or behavioral issues who may need direction and support in a safe, structured environment. Through work projects and team-building exercises, participants gain social interaction skills, responsibility, and accountability. Each teen establishes personal goals and pursues them in partnership with our equines. Weekly riding lessons add horsemanship skills, building confidence and self-esteem. Upon successful completion, ranch hands receive a stipend and a notable achievement to add to their resume.

Community Collaboration

Swiftsure provides equine-assisted activities for individuals participating in associated programs throughout southern Idaho.  Participants at Camp Rainbow Gold, the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind, Higher Ground, Dreams Come True, and Boise VA Programs all have the opportunity to participate in equine-assisted activities throughout the year, either at the ranch or elsewhere in the valley.

Other Programs

Screenshot 2015-10-26 12.18.34Equipment Design

Swiftsure is the forerunner in adaptive riding equipment design. This research is available to other therapeutic riding centers and individuals worldwide. Our design for western saddles adapted to help challenged individuals ride with greater independence is published in the textbook, Therapeutic Riding, Strategies for Instruction and Rehabilitation edited by Barbara Engel.

Community Service Program

Suspended or expelled Blaine County School students are referred to Swiftsure Ranch to perform community service. These students learn life skills and improve accountability in a safe, positive environment by assisting with therapeutic riding lessons and performing maintenance chores.