Therapeutic Riding

Our Therapeutic Riding program teaches horsemanship skills while using therapeutic activities that offer challenging recreation geared towards the individual's physical, emotional, social and educational benefits in mind.

In our therapeutic riding program, participants learn true horsemanship skills as well as foundations for life's endeavors. The PATH International Certified Instructors develop challenging lesson plans that incorporate specific riding skills to meet the unique needs of each individual, and at the same time foster success.

Clients typically come once a week for a 45-minute riding lesson, based in a small group setting.

Therapeutic riding has some unique benefits that are derived from the transfer of movement from horse to rider.

  • The horse's three dimensional gait gives the rider the feeling and mental images of walking while receiving physical, social, and emotional benefits.
  • Components such as music, colors, numbers, and shape recognition can be built into a therapeutic riding session to stimulate learning.
  • Riders improve their self-esteem and independence as they interact with their peers, volunteers, instructors and horses.
  • Communication, sequencing, and coordination are just a few of the many benefits Therapeutic Riding has to offer.
Breanna Sarah


HEARTS stands for Horse Experience & Activities Resulting in Therapeutic Success. A 30-minute one-on-one unmounted program in which clients learn the sequencing of grooming, saddling, and communicating with the horse safely from the ground. Working towards their individual goals, clients will also learn responsibility and empathy towards caring for the horse. This program is great for both the rider and non-rider.

Our unmounted program provides many benefits for physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.

  • Physical
    • Gross and fine motor skills are incorporated into the lesson plans during activities such as grooming and saddling. The client also works on balance and coordination, as they are constantly stretching and reaching during these activities. The HEARTS program promotes cardiovascular and strength training through groom, saddling, and leading.
  • Social/Emotional
    • Relationships are built on a foundation of communication and trust within this program as they learn how to bond and work with their horse as a team. Through a partnership with the horse, clients learn trust, respect and leadership skills. The success of mastering new skills, builds self-esteem and motivated the client to try new things.
  • Cognitive
    • Grooming and saddling are done in a specific order, which develops routine and sequencing/recall. When covering horse care, the client receives a sense of responsibility. The HEARTS program also introduces new vocabulary and improves attention and focus.

Recreational Ride

Experience for schools and group homes of 4-18 participants. One-time experience.

Participants rotate through three unique learning stations such as:

  • Horseback riding
  • Grooming
  • Horse Nutrition

Our recreational ride program provides many benefits for physical, social, emotional, and cognitive.

  • Addressing sensory levels
  • Physical Exercise
  • Endurance
  • Nurturing

Program Costs

Scholarship funds are available to those who qualify.

Have more questions? Contact Katie Luessenhop, Program Coordinator!

262-882-3470, Option 2 or


These fun at-home activities are perfect to practice your knowledge when you aren't at SMILES!

There's something for all ages!

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