Therapeutic Horseback Experiences

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Terminally ill children or those with special needs can get outdoors and have fun on horseback, too!

When a sickness keeps your child indoors for hours on end or other reasons keeps her from experiencing the outdoors on a daily basis, it’s up to you to find ways for her to have fun. Therapeutic horseback rides give uplifting experiences to children. Something you never knew they needed until you see the look on their face. Pure joy and excitement. A child’s passion for animals shows early in age and horses seem to be magical to them.

Therapeutic Horseback Experiences

Davidson County

Angel Heart Farm
615-566-4976
Angel Heart Farm is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Nashville. It serves children and families battling chronic and life threatening illnesses using equine assisted therapy. This service is not for children with special needs, simply for those battling other life-threatening issues. Their main goal is to help kids be kids away from all the medical necessities and bring joy into their lives through horses and nature. It’s at no cost, too!

Rutherford County

Full Circle Therapy
215 Wellington Way, Smyrna
615-545-4271
Full Circle Therapy offers Hippotherapy. This is a form of therapy that uses the movement of the horse as rehabilitation for humans. You don’t learn to ride a horse, but you learn how to sit up on your own, hold your head up, walk, transfer, improve balance in order to prevent falls, relax muscles for better range of motion and mobility, etc. Your therapist moves the horse in such a way to enhance the function of certain muscle groups in your body and to relax others.

Williamson County

Kindred Spirits
1440 Mentelle Drive, Franklin
615-403-2858
Kindred Spirits is a therapeutic riding center that provides special needs, terminally ill and battered children horse interactions.

Saddle Up!
1549 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin
615-794-1150
Saddle Up! is a year-round program that serves nearly 190 children/youth a year. It’s the oldest and largest program of its kind in the region, too. In addition, it’s the only program that exclusively serves children and youth with disabilities.

Take the Reins
at Bending Tree Farm, 3636 Bear Creek Road, Thompson’s Station
615-595-8672
Take The Reins offers Equine Assisted Learning (EAL), a hands-on educational program that uses the interactions and developing relationships between horses and humans in an environment of learning and self-discovery. They now offer two NEW EAL programs for children and teens with special needs, their siblings and families, too.

White Fawn Farm
3743 Bear Creek Road, Thompson’s Station
615-807-0117
White Fawn Farm provides families dealing with disabilities and other life challenges with personalized equine therapeutic programs. Those programs include interactions with horses on the ground, on horseback or in a horse carriage.

Wilson County

Southern Starrs
4050 Cairo Bend Road, Lebanon
615-453-2592
Southern STARRS provides special needs children and adults therapeutic and recreational horseback riding and animal assisted activities and classes.

 

 

 

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of three.

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