IT'S ALL ABOUT OUR CLIENTS
We Can Ride is an amazing program. Everyone involved has experienced the wonder first-hand. The horses work their magic, for sure, but the real reason we are all here is the same: serving our clients.
Our program serves over 300 clients annually! We have PATH International certified instructors, licensed therapists, and trained volunteers. It is a magical orchestration of people and horses. Individuals with physical, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities benefit from these equine-assisted activities.
What are the benefits of therapeutic riding and carriage driving?
Gentry L. My Therapist Weighs 900 lbs. Children Today. Jan-Feb 1986;15(1):30-3.
You will see the clients' faces when they're with their horse. Either smiling with the joy of it all, or concentrating on their task at hand. This isn't just a "pony ride," but real work involving balance, coordination, strength-building, and communication skills. You'll see the horses calm and intent on doing their work, paying close attention to their client's needs, as well as listening to their leader, all the while tolerating the commotion around them! You'll also see our trained volunteers as they interact and work to make the client's experience safe and rewarding. Friendships are made, smiles given and received, personal triumphs achieved, small and large. All these things happen on a weekly basis, in classes at all our sites.
Clients range in age from 2 to 70 years old. Once you are a client in our program, you remain a client ; we do not operate on a "lottery-type" or hit-or-miss system, but rather, returning riders get the first chance to come back to classes each year.
WE CAN RIDE OFFERS TWO TYPES OF PROGRAMS
Group Lessons, including Early Childhood Classes and Equine Assisted Therapeutic Riding: Our clients in group classes ride once a week for 45 minutes, with up to four clients in a class. A NARHA registered instructor runs the class, with support from a teaching assistant, barn aid, and trained volunteers. We offer an early childhood class (on Tuesday mornings at our Minnetonka site) for clients from two to six years old.
A PATH registered instructor, physical therapist or occupational therapist evaluates the client and recommends riding exercises and activities to challenge sensory integration, balance, improve posture, strengthen muscles, and reduce spasticity. The three-dimensional (forward and back, up and down, side to side) swinging gait of a horse relaxes spastic muscles and limbers segments of the spine, producing the same sequence of movement that occurs when a person walks unaided. Balance is continually challenged. Developmental sequence is augmented through the establishment of head control, postural tone, spatial relations, and a sense of equilibrium and balance. A client must also integrate the tactile, auditory, visual, and skeletal stimuli in order to produce the needed body responses for riding. The sights, sounds, and tactile and vestibular stimuli that the clients experience are unique to therapeutic riding and can not be reproduced in a clinical setting.
Classes also include "sports riding" where clients learn basic riding skills (mounting, dismounting, riding positions, maneuvering the horse, and riding in various gaits), which promote physical, emotional, and psychological developments, all emphasizing independence; or "fundamentals" where clients learn horse care and may participate in grooming, tacking, and other skills to use around the barn.
Hippotherapy: An occupational therapist or physical therapist works one-on-one with the client on and off the horse. Each class is one hour (or as much as the client can manage on any given day). There is also a team of volunteers, one to lead the horse and two as sidewalkers. The second one available if the therapist wants to take a step back and observe.
HOW TO BECOME A WE CAN RIDE CLIENT
Please read carefully!
The first step is to download the new client registration packet below and any of the additional special forms, print and fill it in; then mail or fax it to our office. Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 1102, Minnetonka, MN 55345. The fax number is: 952-974-9688. Returning clients will also fill out new paperwork each year, please see the Returning Client Paperwork packet below. Please avoid emailing the form, as scan quality can be poor, and the information these forms contain is very important for the intake process. Please only scan these items to the Client Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org) if your resolution is 600 dpi or higher. Please also review the Payment Policy Notice, for your reference. The Medical History Form should be filled out before a client is admitted into a class, but does not need to come along with the Registration form initially. PLEASE READ the prospective client cover letter outlining program fees (MSWord document, one page) for more information.
Once we have received the completed Client Registration, the prospective Client's name will be entered into our database. We do not fill openings on a first-come-first-served basis, but instead we place Clients based on appropriate class availability, taking into consideration site preference, client schedule and best class blend. Due to this, you may be put on a waiting list. There is no cost to be placed on the waiting list.
If you do not have access to a printer, please call our office at (952) 934-0057 and we will send these papers out to you.
Once we contact you with a possible class opening, the client will come in to our main office for an evaluation by a Physical Therapist or an Occupational Therapist. This evaluation takes approximately 45 minutes. The therapist will make recommendations as to class placement, type of horse, and even potential goals. You may choose to bring your IEP or other plan to this screening for the therapist to review. The fee for this screening is $40.00.
After that, there's just all the paperwork, paperwork, paperwork! Forms need to be completed and/or updated and authorizations signed, photo consents given (or not), and any specialty forms completed (for example, seizure history, Down Syndrome atlantoaxial instability information, and Spina Bifida information).
Please see our FAQ for some common questions and answers.
2013 Client Forms:
Download One of the following:
Download All of the following:
Special forms (download if applicable):