PRDA

Our Programs

 

Therapeutic Horseback Riding

 

Currently there are approximately 160 riders in the program, and we have had riders from 2 to 99 years young! Riders participate in different riding programs ranging from sports riding (aimed at those who want to compete), through strictly therapeutic to recreational riding. 

 

There are three sessions annually at PRDA

Fall Session - September through December
Winter Session - January through March
Spring Session - April through June

 

**PRDA also offers a Summer Session in July and August which is separate from our regular program.  Please see the Summer Session tab at the top of the webpage for more information on summer session.

 

The sessions vary from 8 to 13 weeks, depending on how many holidays fall into the session. Classes run Monday through Saturday, and last 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Unfortunately, we do have a bit of a wait list at PRDA. Our programs are effective and popular, and this means that we do have a list of people who are waiting for entrance into one of our programs.  The wait varies in length based on the availability of the rider and the spots that become open in the program.  

 

The Programs offered at PRDA are:


The Spirit Program (CCD)
 offers therapy to our youngest riders and is provided in collaboration with the therapists from the Centre for Child Development and the Centre for Ability.

The Strides Program
 offers school aged children their first introduction to the possibilities of equestrian sport. Skill building and competition are introduced as well as the therapeutic benefits of recreational riding.

The Sport Rider Program
 offers our seasoned youth and adults a more sophisticated level of instruction to match their ever-increasing confidence, competence, and level of competition.

The Pegasus Program
 offers equestrian facilitated therapy to young children recovering from significant abuse. Our gentle equine 'therapists' help the children learn to feel in control again, to trust again, and to laugh again.

The Phoenix Program 
offers adults with cognitive disabilities who wish to enjoy the recreational and therapeutic aspects of riding the opportunity to participate in a safe and welcoming environment.

 

 

Equine Assisted Personal Development

 

Horseplay is an interactive experience with individuals or groups where the horses are our partners in learning about effective communication styles, body language and our own personal skills. This program does not involve riding the horses necessarily, but is more focused on learning what the horses can teach us about ourselves. Guided by certified Equine Assisted Personal Development Coaches, HorsePlay helps individuals gain confidence and learn valuable life lessons. Groups or corporate teams learn effective communication and collaboration skills, and strengths and challenges within the team framework. HorsePlay will show teams how to work together in the most efficient way possible, while utilizing everyone's strengths. Please contact us if you think HorsePlay can help you or your team. 

 

Join Our Programs

Do you think therapeutic horseback riding would be beneficial for you or someone you know?  Please send in a new rider application package and join our program.  There is currently a short wait to get into our program, depending on the level of flexibility new riders have in their schedules.

 

 The first step to becoming a rider is getting the rider package filled in, including the Physician's Referral, and sending the completed package back into our office.  Once we receive the completed package, we will go over it and see if we have any spots available in our schedule that would be a good fit for the prospective rider.  When a spot becomes available the new rider will be called in for an assessment.  The assessment is when we get to meet the new rider, and the new rider gets to meet us, our horses and see our facility. The assessment is unmounted, so there is no riding, we save that for the first lesson.

 

There is a cost associated with our program.  The cost depends on the length of the lesson.  Most of our lessons are 30 minutes, and the cost is $30.  Some of our competitive sport riders ride for 45 minutes, with a cost of $40.  We bill on a session schedule, generally between 10-13 weeks, and the full amount is due at the beginning of your first lesson.

 

Some of our riders do receive funding from outside agencies.  We currently have riders funded through the Autism Funding Unit, the At Home Program, Variety and CKNW.  It is up to the rider/family to secure their own funding before the start of session.

 

Download your copy of the New Rider Application here:

 

Child Package (Under 19 Years Old)

 

Adult Package (Over 19 Years Old)

 

 

Success Stories

 

Horses: Passion for riding grew from therapy

by Angela Wiebe of the Langley Advance 

 Ashley Gowanlock is just like every other competitive equestrian  - she trains two to three days a week, competes in shows often,  and is passionately in love with the sport. But, there's also  something that separates her from the others: she has cerebral  palsy and limited mobility in her legs. Ashley, 18, who trains at  Langley's Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities, has been riding  since the age of two. While her mother, Sue, initially took her  daughter riding for therapeutic reasons, Ashley fell in love with  the sport, hard and fast. "She could care less about anything but  this," Sue said of Ashley's riding. 


 Having to walk with a brace, Ashley loved the freedom that riding  gave her. While her friends were excited about basketball and  baseball tournaments growing up, she was excited about horse shows. "I loved being on the horse and being able to go wherever [I] wanted," she said. "The horse is her legs," Sue added. It wasn't until she was 13 that Ashley fell in love with more than just riding. It was the thrill of competition that drove her to work harder and harder at the sport. "I thought, 'This is what I have to do,'" Ashley said. "I've found something I can live for." Thanks to a disciplined work ethic, Ashley found herself improving in dressage and freestyle - two forms of competitive riding - with every training session. "She's amazing," said Ashley's trainer Michelle Meacher. "I see progress in her every day. She's one of those people that coaches love to coach." From early on, Ashley had dreams of making the national team and competing in the Paralympic Games. "I don't think anybody else believed me, but I knew this was something I had to do." A real affirmation for Ashley, a student at Douglas College, came only one and a half months ago, when she competed against a set of able-bodied people. "She got the highest score out of anybody, not just because she's disabled," Sue said. "The judge was just floored." She also recently came in second in Canada in the qualifying round to be eligible for the national riding team. "We just keep telling her, 'Go for the gusto girl,'" Sue said. "[She] might have to compensate in other ways, but there is a way." And even when Ashley doesn't do her best, she doesn't let it get her down. "If you mess up," Ashley said of a competition, "you have to move on and put it behind you. And make the rest incredibly great."


Sue, who comes to watch almost every one of Ashley's practices and competitions, marveled at her daughter's positivity. "She's a very, very up person," she said. "If she does make it to the Paralympics, she'd be an asset to Canada." Ashley hopes to find out in the next couple of months whether she makes the national team, which would guarantee her a trip to the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China. Ashley, who is elated at the prospect of combining her passion and travelling the world, is more than ready for the opportunity: "Send me anywhere, and I'm ready to go."


But both Ashley and Sue said the opportunity wouldn't be possible without the support of PRDA. "This place is great," Ashley said. "There's nobody saying you shouldn't do that or you can't do it. They're saying, 'You can, you should, so let's go." Similarly, Sue noted the dedication of PRDA's trainers. "She's had some extremely good coaches. They've gone over and above what they really need to do."

 

 

 

**This article was written a few years ago when Ashley still rode at PRDA. Since this article was written, Ashley has competed in the 2008 Paralympic Games, the 2010 World Equestrian Games, and is currently on the Canadian Team for the 2012 Paralympics.

 

 

Santhiya's Story


 About a year ago, a little 8 year old girl named Santhiya began riding at  PRDA. The date: January 31, 2013. The date her mother says changed  Santhiya's life. Santhiya's diagnosis involved multiple challenges, including  feeding difficulties due to a large tongue, and a tracheostomy. Routine  suctioning of Santhiya's lungs is commonplace, and she uses a feeding tube  to eat. Unable to talk, Santhiya uses sign language to communicate and she  seemed to enjoy riding Ladybug right away. In a few short months,  Santhiya's core strength was improving to the point where she needed less  frequent suctioning. She was sitting up taller, and her respiratory system was  getting stronger. In a wheelchair when she began riding, Santhiya was  progressing to using a walker, and walking independently while holding the hands of her parents. This was big news for Santhiya and her family! The physical benefits of therapeutic riding are well-known to all of us at PRDA, but what we weren't expecting was the improvements to Santhiya's respiratory system. Doctors have planned a series of surgeries to reduce the size of Santhiya's tongue, but thought she wouldn't be physically strong enough to undergo the surgeries until she was 13 years old. She had the first of these surgeries last June. Now riding twice a week, Santhiya is getting stronger, zooming around in her walker, waving at her friends, and learning to make sounds with her tongue. One day, maybe Santhiya will be able to speak, breathe through her mouth and nose, and taste food for the first time. A miracle that is a direct result of Santhiya's love for riding a little pony named Ladybug. And do you want to know what the best part is? The first shirt Santhiya ever chose for herself had horses all over it.

 

 

Finding Freedom

 

 Lucas Beauchamp is a 9 year-old boy who was born with Cerebral Palsy, a disability that put  him in a wheelchair from a very early age. When he was just 2 ½ years old, Lucas started  riding with Pacific Riding for Developing Abilities in Langley. At the time, he couldn’t walk at  all, and was barely crawling.

 

 Lucas rode until he was five years old in our Spirit Program, a program designed for our  youngest riders.  Riders build core strength, stability and balance under the watchful eye of an  instructor, a physiotherapist, and our dedicated volunteers, all while playing games, singing  songs, and having fun on the back of a horse!

 

 Lucas’ mother, Lisa, was doubtful about how riding a horse could help her son learn to walk on  his own, but after just 9 months, Lucas was able to stand on his own, without his walker and  take a few steps. Bit by bit, Lucas was gaining the strength, balance and coordination needed  to find freedom from his walker. After another 10-week riding session at PRDA, he was walking  on his own, with no walker at all!

 

 Lucas is now riding “Toby” in our Strides Program, and his mother is a believer of the  benefits of therapeutic riding!