Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Rio and Nicholas cropped

Therapeutic Riding 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.

SMILES runs in four 9 week sessions throughout the year, where clients typically come once a week for a 45 minute riding lesson based in a small group setting.

2022 Student Forms


Therapeutic riding’s unique benefits 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, and instructors. Communication, sequencing, and coordination are just a few of the many benefits Therapeutic Riding has to offer.

Click Here to see a full list of physical, cognitive, emotional, and psycho-social benefits to choose from when enrolling at SMILES.


Get Started

The first step to enroll in the SMILES program is to fill out the 2022 Student Forms. Once the packet is completed and the Physician’s Release has been filled out and signed, a cost-free onsite evaluation with the Program Coordinator is scheduled. You may schedule this via phone 262-882-3470 or email: . During the evaluation you will received a full facility tour, establish individual goals to be addressed during the lessons, as well as a more in depth look at the 9 week progressive curriculum. At this time, we will review the schedule and find a class that would be best suited for the client. The onsite evaluation will familiarize you with the facility and help you be prepared for your first day of class!

Beyond the Saddle

In addition to therapeutic riding, SMILES offers our HEARTS Program which is an unmounted program designed on an individual basis to accommodate each student’s specific needs and goals. This program is also a great option for clients who are unable to ride but are looking to receive therapeutic benefits while partnering with a horse. This program focuses on horsemanship skills and equine education adapted to the student’s abilities. Click Here to learn more about the HEARTS Program!

Rio and Sarah