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Unmounted Therapy Activities!

Did you know that here at HorsePlay Therapy, our therapies are not limited to only incorporating mounted activities? 

At our center, we have therapy “barns” equipt to utilize in therapy. These rooms are utilized if a child receives multiple disciplines at our center. For example, if a child receives OT, PT and speech at our center all in one day, only one of their services will be provided on horseback. Our team works together to discuss your child’s interdisciplinary goals to decide which discipline is most appropriate to have on horseback. Additionally, should the weather be inclement we utilize our rooms so therapy is still on; rain or shine! 

Unmounted activities: there’s so much more to horses than just riding!

Grooming: Grooming the horses can be utilized in therapy to target a variety of goals! Brushing the horses can be a sensory experience including tactile and olfactory input. Additionally, grooming horses can assist with a child’s own self-care goals as well as receptive language goals such as following directions, spatial concepts, and more.

Scooping poop: This may sound silly, but scooping poop is one of our kiddos’ favorite unmounted activities! Cleaning stalls provides lots of heavy work, which can assist in meeting sensory needs as well as a good weighted activity for building strength. 

Tacking Up: For some of our older kids, we can work on putting on saddles as some of our therapy tasks. This can work on receptive language as it requires higher level following direction tasks, as well as grip strength, dressing skills, and strength to lift the saddles (they are heavier than they look!). 

Our weight limit: In most settings, horses can safely carry 20% of their weight including tack. However, due to the nature of our sessions (the positions we utilize, utilizing bareback pads, and the activities on horseback)  and for the safety of our older horses, HorsePlay Therapy Center has a weight limit for patients of 140 pounds or only participating in unmounted activities past the age 14 in our pediatric program. This, however, is dependent on the weight distribution and self carriage of the child. We reserve the right to have your child no longer participate in mounted activities due to the weight or behaviors of your child for the safety of your child and horse. If you have any questions and concerns, please feel free to discuss them with our executive director, Vicky Carregal.