Services 2017-03-17T14:27:32+00:00

Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) Services at CTRC

Since our inception, CTRC has vowed enable people with special needs to meet their therapeutic and life goals by accompanying our riders through their treatment and triumphs, and to showcase the powerful benefits of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT). With a comprehensive approach to making a difference in the lives of those with special needs CTRC offers distinguished services by personalizing goals, integrating the newest techniques and providing an environment that is not only safe but fosters personal growth and skill development. CTRC’s primary service areas focus on therapeutic riding and therapeutic services such as community group programming, interactive vaulting, ground lessons and special opportunities, hippotherapy and Mini Troopers.

New in 2017 is the Hoof Beats program.  Hoof Beats is a unique partnership between CTRC and Music Plus Therapy Services of Boulder. This partnership delivers Therapeutic Riding and Music Therapy together to create a highly engaging and sensory-filled means of reaching therapeutic goals. Learn more about the Hoof Beats program…

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We serve riders of all ages with a wide range of special needs. While no clinical diagnosis is necessary to participate, it is required that participants have a need for our specialized, therapeutic environment. Special needs served include but are not limited to:

Muscular Dystrophy Cerebral Palsy Spinal Cord Injuries
Visual Impairment Sensory Integration Amputations
Down Syndrome Developmental Delay Learning Disabilities
Autism Multiple Sclerosis ADD
Spina Bifida Fine/Gross Motor Sills Deafness
Emotional Traumatic Brain Injuries Cardiovascular/Stroke

Unarguably, the opportunity to be with a horse – on the ground or in the saddle – has been a tremendous motivator for many of our riders, to gain powerful benefits and skills for many areas of their lives. Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies help develop muscle tone, increase mobility, concentration, patience, sequencing, letter and symbol recognition and self-discipline. Social and emotional growth is too gained from the natural bond created between horse and rider. Every day lives are changed for the better at CTRC. The impact of CTRC’s equine assisted programming is seen in our riders’ achievements. Riders like:

  • Logan, who has social and emotional challenges, as well as a sensory processing disorder and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) had never wanted to continue with a sport because he was unable to perform as well as others. Now not only does he look forward to his class every week but riding helps him to concentrate and focus as he is learning new skills.
  • Kristin, diagnosed with Down syndrome, used to ask her mom to talk to people for her but she has learned that she can control her emotions just as she can control her horse. Kristin now has the confidence to start conversations, share with others the vocabulary she learns in class and retell instructions to her family.
  • Martin having become legally blind at the age of 7, now, in his 50’s, has encountered many, many challenges throughout his years. While dealing with the daily frustrations of trying to access what is, for the most part, an inaccessible world for a visually impaired individual, CTRC’s therapeutic riding program provides for him an outlet for psychological and emotional balance as well as physical exercise. Martin thrives in a setting that not only sees beyond his disability but also promotes him to strive to reach goals in his life via experiences in the arena. Impressively Martin has gained enough confidence to ride independently and eagerly takes on the challenges of learning advanced skills like jumping cross rails.

Services Survey Results

The impact of CTRC’s EAAT services are measured by an annual survey conducted to gain Client/Parent/Caregiver feedback on the quality and effectiveness of experienced services. This feedback is critical in determining if CTRC’s EAAT programming is continuing to meet and exceed expectations. The survey also serves as a tool to provide clear assessments of our services and aids in the identification of any areas of weakness.  Results from the 2015 survey include:

Goals and expectations are met: 96%
Primary area of interest in CTRC’s therapeutic services: 74%
Recommend CTRC’s service to others: 100%
Participate at CTRC more than 2 years: 57%
Experienced unexpected benefits or impacts from participating in CTRC’s programming: 74%
Instructors and staff knowledgeable about disabilities: 100%

As the horse moves, the rider is constantly thrown off-balance. In an attempt to rebalance the rider’s muscles are required to contract and relax which can lead to:

• Improved posture control and balance
• Increased muscle tone and strength
• Greater range of motion
• Decreased spasticity
• Better hand-eye coordination
• Reduction of abnormal movement patterns

The repetition of patterned movements required in controlling a horse quickens the reflexes and aids in motor planning which can lead to:

• Development of learned skills
• Tactile awareness and sensory integration
• Improved application of direction
• Greater skill at sequencing & patterning
• Increased motor planning

Riding provides excitement and the sense of achievement of working independently as well as with a team which can lead to:

• Independence
• Increased self-control and awareness
• Better emotional control
• Greater self-awareness and self-confidence

Being involved as a rider creates a shared interest and experience on which to build a social foundation which can lead to:

• Friendship building
• Increased experiences
• Improving social skills and cooperation

“CTRC is the best part of my daughter’s life in a world where she can not quite get on top of everything.” – Rider Parent
“After his summer session of hippotherapy, we saw GREAT strides in his ability to communicate. With a lot of hard work, he is able to have an actual conversation with us now!! He also LOVES the horses. He rode Sassy during the summer and is now on Clown and will tell anyone who will listen to him about the horses at CTRC. All of the volunteers and Amy, his instructor, have made therapy such a rewarding and fun activity for him, we really love coming to CTRC.” – Rider Parent