Child Rider Programs

Children are often very excited to meet the horses, but can be overwhelmed due to their size. We would get a similar feeling coming face-to-face with a giraffe! We give the children a lot of guidance as we encourage them to become comfortable around the horses. We match horses and riders carefully to ensure a successful pairing and enjoyable riding experiences. Below are some of the specialized programs we offer for our child riders.

The Spirit Program

This program is designed for children between the ages of 2 and 5 who have cognitive and/or physical development challenges and were referred to PRDA from The Centre for Child Development. Each rider’s therapy is unique with the primary objective is to promote independent sitting and trunk control, as well as increased confidence.

The Strides Riding Program

This program is designed for children and youth ages 6 to 18. This program offers school-aged children and youth their first introduction to riding as therapy or expands on skills they already have developed. The objective of the Strides Program is to focus on the child’s abilities rather than on their challenges.

The Progressive Riding Program

This program offers seasoned youth and adults a more sophisticated level of instruction to match competence and confidence. It encourages the development of independent riding, through the development of riding skills and horsemanship knowledge. Riders are also instructed in the discipline of para-dressage.

The HorsePlay Program  (EAL – Equine Assisted Learning)

Equine Assisted Learning, or EAL, was introduced to PRDA in 2013. This program helps people navigate life’s challenges and involves learning communication between a horse and human. The communication and horse therapy are done mostly on the ground and not through actual horseback riding. PRDA now has a team of certified coaches in the field of “Equine Facilitated Wellness.” This program and therapy are now being recognized as a form of treatment for people struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, and eating disorders.

Contact Us for More Information About Our Child Rider Programs

We'd be happy to answer your questions or provide more information about our child rider programs. Don't be afraid to contact us at any one. Once your child starts lessons, parents and caregivers are always welcome to observe their child's riding lessons from the viewing area at the end of the arena. If we go for a walk in Campbell Valley Park or around the paddocks at PRDA, you are always welcome to join us for that as well. View our child rider forms to sign up your child for one of our programs.

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