Field trips can be a great way to develop team building and foster development in children and young adults. Field trips at Equestrian Connection include a variety of activities including horse back riding, grooming, fishing, and completing art projects. Students of all ages and abilities learn about horses and horse care through fun team building games and exercises. Each organization has the ability to customize a program to meet the needs of their participants and their budget. Schools and other organizations are encouraged to contact Equestrian Connection to arrange for a field trip for your students/participants to meet our horses. 

While Equestrian Connection specializes in therapy rides, our doors are also open to anyone in the community who enjoys four-legged friends as much as we do. Birthday parties can be tailored to the specific request of the birthday girl/boy, but typically consist of riding, grooming, craft making, eating, and a scavenger hunt. A birthday party at Equestrian Connection is sure to be memorable and fun for everyone! 

The Red Stallions is a group of riders who work as a team to perform a mounted choreographed routine set to music. Working with other riders to complete a specific task on horseback, riders improve their communication skills and learn to cooperate with others. Riders tack their horse, ride for a half hour and then engage in group activities. In addition to improving their riding skills, riders work on socialization, leadership, and cognitive skills. This group performs for an audience at the Fall Fun Fair and has several other performances during the year. This group is open to any rider that can steer and halt their horse (with or without assistance). 

Silver Spurs

Wranglers Work to Ride

Little Bits

Balance for Life incorporates multidimensional programs that include riding, grooming/tacking and a group meeting. Participants ride for a half hour and meet as a group for a half hour. Therapeutic riding is believed to be beneficial for people with walking difficulties because the rhythmic movements of the human pelvis while horse back riding are similar to those that occur while walking. Variations in the horse's speed, stride and direction are also beneficial for walking and balance. With specially designed exercises, riders improve their coordination balance and posture, and benefit from the cognitive stimulation and emotional joy of riding a horse. Riders also work on cognitive issues such as memory, problem solving and sequencing skills. 

Group Programs

Field Trips

Balance for Life 

Silver Spurs is Equestrian Connection's non-mounted program designed for participants with Alzheimer's Disease and memory loss. In an assisted manner, small groups are engaged in horse-centered groundwork activities at the barn. These weekly interventions include learning grooming, leading, haltering and bonding with our horses. The benefits include increasing self-confidence, engagement with their environment, pleasure and physical activity while reducing stress, agitation, and isolation. Having an opportunity to bond with the horses is a very powerful experience. 

Desperate Horsewives

Red Stallion Drill Team

Sponsored by a grant from the Helen Brach Foundation, Wranglers is a non-mounted program designed to teach job skills to teens with special needs. This is supervised work-to-ride program where participants are involved in many aspects of the barn and work on tasks in the barn, in the garden, in the office and outside on the property. 

Equestrian Connection Flyers is a therapeutic vaulting program. Often equate to gymnastics on horseback, vaulters perform movements on the back of the horse while someone controls the movement of the horse on the ground. Vaulters perform movements as simple as sitting without holding on or more elaborate moves such as kneeling or standing on the horse. The therapeutic value is immense as it promotes strength, flexibility, balance and coordination through the physical moves while simultaneously building courage, confidence, trust, patience and critical thinking. 

Family Connection/Family Night at Equestrian Connection

Therapeutic Vaulting

Little Bits is a program that provides preschool-aged children with an opportunity to improve sensory-motor function in a fun and social setting. This program incorporates hippo therapy as a treatment strategy. It is for children ages 3-6 who could use work with muscle strength and endurance, balance, coordination or motor planning, who have sensitivities to touch, movement, auditory and/or visual stimuli or who have social-emotional needs. To participate, a child must be able to walk independently or using an assistive device with supervision. Participants will ride for a half hour and take part in an unmounted group activity for a half hour. Little Bits is run by a licensed physical and occupational therapists. 

Family Night at Equestrian Connection (EC) is a special event where a family can have a fun night at EC all to themselves! Whether you want to create new memories with a loved one in hospice care, or do something that is fun and fully accessible. We can build an evening to accommodate your family. Family members can ride together, engage in a group project, order in a pizza and perhaps paint your names on one of our ponies, go on a hayride, fish in the lake, or build a snowman; it's all about fun and togetherness! 

Birthday Parties

Most mothers and caretakers who care for a person with special needs leave a little time for themselves. With this program, these moms and caretakers have the opportunity to learn how to groom, tack, and ride English style. Desperate Horsewives is a great way to relieve stress by socializing, learning new skills, and having fun!