Adaptive riding is a recreational activity for individuals with disabilities focused on teaching horsemanship skills, specifically through riding, in ways that are adapted to meet the needs of the individual.  Lessons are taught by PATH, Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors. Benefits of adaptive riding are seen in the lives of our clients in the areas of education, health, leisure, sports and recreation.

Riding on the back of a horse rhythmically moves the body of the rider in a way that can be compared to a human’s movement. This helps riders with physical disabilities display improvement in muscle strength, balance and flexibility.

Besides the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding, individuals also enjoy accessible and inclusive recreational opportunities.

Participants must be at least 4 years old to participate in Adaptive Riding.


Small muscle movements are required when horseback riding. These kind of movements improve the dexterity and fine motor skills of each client. Most times, the activity deals with the movement of the hands, and depending on the task set by the instructor, they can be accomplished while the client or student is riding on or off the horse. Examples include selecting and holding the reins while riding.


Both balance and coordination are required when riding a horse. Because of this, participants who experience difficulties with balance and coordination can show great improvement through adaptive riding.

Students can coordinate their movements while dismounting and mounting the horse, riding, and so much more. As each participant learns to stay balanced on the horse, their muscles are learning to work together to maintain balance. Changing directions, starting, and stopping the horse are all challenges that deal with maintaining balance.


People with specific challenges including autism, benefit from adaptive riding as horses stimulate the senses in many ways. The rider’s sense of touch, hearing, smell, and vision are all stimulated by the feel, sounds, and smells of the horse itself. The tactile stimulation happens when the horse is in motion. This creates both appreciation for the act of riding and sensory enjoyment.

Pricing per 1 Hour Session

$55 – 3 or More Participants

$60 – 2 Participants

$90 – Private

$100 – Initial Evaluation to Determine Eligibility

Open T.R.A.I.L. does not bill insurance. All Therapeutic Riding Lessons are Private Pay.

Interested in Adaptive Riding?

Fill out our Participant Intake Form to join our waiting list. When a spot open, an OTR staff will contact you.

Kind Words

Evelyn is learning to not skip steps, to be more aware of her environment, and to care for a horse. Evelyn is learning to saddle and ride her horse, whom she has bonded with. She looks forward to horseback riding and knows she must be doing her best in school to continue therapy. Evelyn has something else to talk about, socially and loves sharing her experience. She feels special and important and doesn’t even realize it is “therapy”.
Shauna H.
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