Do you know a special needs child or adult that could benefit from a unique friendship? Did you know there is an Equine Therapy program not far from the Upstate, that works with children who have autism and other physical and emotional disorders? Foothills Equestrian Nature center, just over the state line in North Carolina is under 40 minutes from most of Spartanburg. We have all the information you’ll need to see why the drive could make a world of difference in a child’s life.
For over fifty years, horses have been used as a source of therapy for people with disabilities. The relationship built between the rider and the horse, helps those with disabilities lead fuller, more satisfying lives.
About TROT at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center
At the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, they’ve been offering TROT for the last 14 years. Therapeutic Riding of Tryon offers lessons in small three rider classes and individual classes. Equine type therapy is beneficial to so many. Horses provide a non-judgmental relationship in a rider’s life, and it doesn’t take much to fall in love with these horses. Just some of the challenges that can be eased by the companionship gained through the classes at TROT – eating disorders, PTSD, Autism, ADD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis and more.
The weekly therapeutic riding courses utilize specially trained horses and each rider has volunteers supporting them before and during the lesson. Typically, three volunteers are assigned to each rider to insure their safety. These courses, based on the needs of each student, teach riders to do everything that goes along with riding a horse from start to finish. Each student spends hands-on time with the horse before each class grooming and learning how to saddle the horse; after each lesson, students help remove the saddle, clean their horses and offer treats. These courses are about thirty minutes in length and are encouraged to be taken weekly during one of two riding seasons TROT offers in ten-week blocks – March and early June, and another between September and early December.
For those who are unable to ride astride a horse, TROT also offers an unmounted course. These courses include caring for the horse and learning how it communicates, basic horsemanship and relating the horse’s behavior to human’s. The unmounted courses are typically an hour long.
TROT currently charges $250 for a 10-lesson mounted session and $100 for a 10-lesson unmounted session. Financial assistance in the form of a “ridership” is available for those in need who meet certain criteria.
The peaceful surroundings at FENCE only lend to the therapeutic effects that the horses have. These majestic creatures are just waiting to help people feel better. For a child or adult struggling with an emotional or physical challenge – the victory of learning to care for, and/or ride a horse is life changing.
Check out Foothills Equestrian Nature Center
3381 Hunting Country Road, Tryon, NC
Visit the FENCE website here.
Information and the registration link can be found here.
We hope you share this info with anyone you think might benefit from having a horse in their lives in Greenville or Spartanburg.