Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by BREC’s Farr Park Equestrian Center.
Ride Into 2021 With the Hearts and Hooves Therapeutic Riding Program
BREC’s Farr Park Equestrian Center has hosted the Hearts and Hooves Therapeutic Riding Program for more than two decades. This program has welcomed countless members of the special needs community in Baton Rouge to learn and grow through recreational equine activities.
What exactly is Hearts and Hooves? Hearts and Hooves is a recreational therapeutic riding program where riders enjoy a one-hour class on Monday afternoons at Farr Park. Riders learn various stretching exercises, basic horseback riding techniques, and take part in games to help with specific capabilities such as balance, muscle strength and motor functions. Therapeutic riding does more than just benefit riders physically -like increasing range of motion or improving coordination—it encourages social interaction and friendship with other riders who share their loves of horses. The psychological benefits, like emotional control and improving self-confidence, are among the reasons riders succeed in this program.
Who does Hearts and Hooves serve? This adaptive and therapeutic program is for children and adults ages 6 and older who have any physical, mental or social disability.
When is Hearts and Hooves? Six-week sessions are offered during Winter/Spring and Fall each Monday during the session dates. Riders can choose to attend the 4:30 or 6 p.m. class. Session one dates include: January 27 through March 2 / Session 2: March 16 through April 20.
Want to get involved? This program relies on volunteers. Three volunteers are assigned to each rider to help riders safely mount and dismount their horse, lead the horse, and act as a guide during stretches, riding, and games. Volunteers learn basic horse handling, grooming, tacking and untacking, and horse behavior. This is one of BREC’s most popular volunteer opportunities because it is a truly unique and rewarding experience for all who take part.
Interested in being a Hearts and Hooves volunteer? Visit volunteer.brec.org to sign up as a volunteer. Equestrian experience is not needed to volunteer, and volunteers are not required to attend all sessions.
Not sure if this is the opportunity for you, but want to know more? Come out to BREC’s Farr Park Equestrian Center on Monday, January 18 from 10 a.m. to noon for Volunteer Orientation and Fun Day! Here you will have the opportunity to interact with the horses, get to know some of the instructors, and learn what the program is all about! Volunteers must be 13 years of age or older.
Interested in being a participant? Email [email protected] or call (225) 769-7805. Sessions cost $120 for East Baton Rouge Parish residents and $144 for out-of-parish residents. Scholarship opportunities are available!