Program Info

Classes are held at Promised Meadows Farm near Pine Island, Minnesota.  Three basic class formats are offered at RideAbility:

Registered Group Lessons are offered in four sessions are offered each year.  Each session is 5 weeks long, meaning that students come out to the barn once a week for 5 weeks, for about one hour at each visit.  Most classes occur on Monday or Tuesday evenings, but we expand our schedule as volunteer availability increases.   Our spring session focuses on adults.  Our two large summer sessions focus on children and their families.   Summer session #1 starts in May and goes through June while Summer session #2 starts in July and completes in August. The fall session again focuses on adults.   Each student is usually limited to attend one 5 week session per year due to the full schedule, but is also invited to ride horseback at our spring Barn Dance, our student RideAThon evening and our annual Student Horse Show.   These registered group lessons make up the bulk of our program.

Private/Semi-private lessons are offered for members throughout the year, however, they are scheduled according to, and limited by, instructor availability.  These lessons are scheduled week by week and the goal is to provide the special requirements needed for a family or client.    Some of the situations that could be addressed in a private lesson are:  special schedules, special type of adaptive tack, a specific horse or certain skills to be worked on, or even very specific exercises requested by the client.

One-time-fun-time lessons are also offered for community groups.    We offer a one-to-four hour visit to the barn where we:  introduce clients to horses,  provide fun equine activities (including Spirit-painting, relay races and other ground games, and grooming and saddling horses),  usually include some refreshments and often end the day with an evaluation of each client and the opportunity to ride horseback.   These special visits can be arranged by contacting the RideAbility Director at 507-356-8154 or emailing promisedmeadows@gmail.com.

——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Family involvement is a very important part of RideAbility, and our concept of inclusion (siblings riding in classes) is quite unique in the therapeutic riding community. Parents and older siblings are encouraged to volunteer as sidewalkers. Families find the support, understanding and networking with others at RideAbility very rewarding.  It is rare to find a recreation the whole family can truly enjoy together.

RideAbility is a volunteer intensive organization. Volunteers include parents, sidewalkers, horse owners, class assistants, riding instructors, physical therapists, board members, planning and committee members.  No experience is necessary to volunteer and training sessions are available.  The opportunities are endless – and your time and talents are always needed!

Please contact RideAbility if you are interested in volunteering.

Horseback riding is recognized as a  uniquely beneficial form of therapy for individuals with disabilities.  A horse’s gait has similarities to the human walk.   The gentle rocking motion can help to strengthen the spine and pelvic muscles, improve balance, coordination, and posture and increase joint mobility.  In addition to the physical benefits, horseback riding can give an individual the feeling of control that promotes a sense of accomplishment and self -confidence.

Individuals with mental and emotional disabilities not only benefit from the exercise but also develop the discipline and concentration required to learn riding skills.  The special bond they develop with the horse and team members helps to encourage positive attitudes and pave the way for improvements in overall life skills.

Just a few of the benefits are:

  • Exercises muscles

  • Stretches unused muscles

  • Builds self-confidence

  • Improves balance

  • Builds muscle tone

  • Improves coordination

  • Improves concentration

  • Improves attention span

  • Provides social opportunities

  • Teaches horsemanship skills

  • Teaches knowledge of horses

  • Provides motivation to improve communication skills

  • Increases awareness and acceptance of persons with disabilities