HorseAbility offers a variety of year-round riding programs at our facility on the campus of SUNY Old Westbury. For Therapy, Recreation, Hobby or Sport, each of the following programs are tailored to meet the individual needs of our participants. The riders at HorseAbility are a diverse group of children and adults. Children as young as 3 participate in our program, and there is no age limit. Currently our oldest rider is 85 years of age. Riders of all ages and abilities can benefit from HorseAbility’s programs listed below.

BENEFITS OF HORSEBACK RIDING

Research shows that riding students can experience physical, emotional and mental rewards. For individuals with impaired mobility, horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves their body in a manner similar to a walking gait. Riders experience increased balance, muscle control and strength. They can also experience increased confidence, independence, and self esteem.

There is a unique bond that is formed between a rider and a horse. Individuals with learning disorders or developmental disabilities are motivated by riding to increase concentration, patience and discipline. If a psychological or emotional disability is present, the unique relationship formed with a horse can help in improving interpersonal relationships.

The wide range of programs offered to the community, provide an opportunity for almost any individual, at any riding experience or ability* to participate in equine activities.

*some contraindications may prevent mounted activities, or participation in some programs.

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THERAPEUTIC RIDING

Therapeutic horseback riding began over fifty years ago. At one time just an insignificant concept by dedicated equestrians, therapeutic riding has now evolved into a well respected method widely recognized by medical, psychiatric, and social service professionals worldwide.

HorseAbility offers a year-round therapeutic horseback-riding program for individuals with special needs. Physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual needs are met through our unique program. Our lessons are designed to meet the needs of each individual, and, by utilizing the skills of horsemanship; we are able to reach personalized therapeutic goals. Each rider is encouraged to be as independent as possible while both on and off the horse.

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HIPPOTHERAPY

“Hippos” is the Greek word for horse, so the term Hippotherapy translates as therapy with the use of a horse. Hippotherapy, when used as a tool by a licensed Physical, Occupational, or Speech therapist, promotes motor planning abilities, and mobilizes the hips, pelvis and lumbar spine. It also stimulates the central nervous system, activates weak muscles and reduces spasticity.

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RIDING LESSONS

HorseAbility offers English Horseback Riding lessons at all levels from beginner through advanced. Middle School & High School aged riders may be eligible to join our Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) Team.

Discounts are offered to those who volunteer for our programs. For program availability contact Jame@HorseAbility.org, or call (516) 333-6151 ext:111.

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CAMP HORSEABILITY

Camp HorseAbility is a week-long activity, learning, and fun-filled day camp for individuals with special needs. The camp benefits each and every camper with a unique experience that brings together all the wonderful attributes of a typical day camp in an equine-centered, therapeutic environment. Our takes place annually at the end of August (Mon. – Fri.) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily at The Thomas School of Horsemanship in Melville.

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HORSEABILITY FOR HEROES

HorseAbility for Heroes assists military veterans through the use of equine-facilitated approaches/interventions. The healing that occurs for each individual flows into other areas of a persons’ life including relationships with family and community.

Active military personnel and veterans are invited to join us as program participants and/or volunteers.

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SPECIAL OLYMPICS

HorseAbility is proud to be a host site for Special Olympics  Long Island Equestrian program. Students in Special Olympics with the help of HorseAbility’s trained coaches, train to compete in regional and state competition if qualified. In 2003, two of our riders qualified  and participated in the prestigious Special Olympics World Games in Ireland! To contact Special Olympics, or to get more information about Special Olympics Programing contact: 631-254-1465

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FUTURE STARS SUMMER CAMP

HorseAbility partners with Future Stars Sports Camps to offer a Horseback Riding Camp. Campers will learn and practice all aspects of horse care and riding, and all activities are tailored to the individual’s abilities. The camp day begins on the farm with lessons in horsemanship, equine science & horseback riding as well as additional field play and swim time each day.

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CAMP LOYALTOWN

HorseAbility offers a satellite  equine program at Camp Loyaltown, located in the Catskill Mountains, 2 and 1/2 hours North of New York City and 3 hours north of Nassau County’s western border. Each year, more than 650 campers enjoy the wonders of the outdoors in a safe and fun environment.

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EQUINE FACILITATED ACTIVITES/THERAPY

Horses are amazing tools that mirror our behavior and emotions. They help individuals learn more about themselves and about relationship dynamics in people’s lives.

From Seniors affected by Alzheimer’s and Dementia to middle & high school-aged at-risk youths of all-levels of physical, psychological, and social functioning as well as for those for whom horseback riding is contraindicated, but would still benefit from equine related activities.The Equine-Facilitated Activities Program is an innovative, activity-based group or individual adventure that uses horses to work on peer relationships, self-esteem, attachment issues, trust building, fear and conflict resolution, anxiety, depression, as well as many other difficulties.

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EQUINE EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING

Individuals, schools, organizations, and groups are invited to join HorseAbility for a day to learn about the gifts that horses have to offer. Stable care, groundwork, grooming, proper safety around horses, and riding are introduced. Hands-on activities, group discussions, and picnic opportunities are part of the experience. Scout Programs, Community Service or Professional Development Programs also available to the community.

To get information about sending your group to HorseAbility to experience Equine Discovery please call 516-333-6151.

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LIHSSRD

The Long Island Horse Show Series for Riders with Disabilities (LIHSSRD) was created in 2005 to provide competition opportunities for riders with special needs at United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) rated hunter jumper shows.

LIHSSRD classes are held at rated competitions throughout Long Island and are open to all riders with a documented disability. Riders compete for points at each show. The top riders in each division qualify for the LIHSSRD Championship Finals, held annually at The Hampton Classic Horse Show in Bridgehampton, NY.

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EQUINE FACILITATED PSYCHOTHERAPY

Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP) is a short-term experiential approach that can be utilized in conjunction with other modalities of counseling or psychotherapy or on it’s own. EFP is conducted by a team which includes a Licensed Mental Health Professional, an Equine Specialist and one or more horses.

After an initial assessment, a treatment plan is designed to meet the client’s needs. The format consists of an experiential activity with a horse or horses and a reflection about the experience. Activities are structured to meet specific treatment goals and may include ground exercises, leading, grooming, lunging, and/or riding.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

Various educational workshops and clinics are planned and offered throughout the year covering a variety of topics relevant to the equestrian and therapeutic riding professions. Check our calendar for offerings and eligibility to participate (open to the public).

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ADDITIONAL PROGRAMMING

Horse Shows
HorseAbility offers schooling shows to our riders each Spring as well as Camp Horse Shows. The shows are appropriate for riders at any level, and are set up for 100% success. Ribbons and trophies are awarded to each rider. Family and friends are invited to come and watch the show and cheer on the riders. HorseAbility also offers opportunities to riders who wish to participate in additional horse shows.

Birthday Parties
When scheduling permits, birthday parties are available upon request to families who participate in one of HorseAbility’s programs. Birthday parties include access to a party room, a group horseback riding lesson, an arts and crafts project, and horsemanship lesson for each party guest. Date and time availability vary by season.

Special Events

Throughout the year HorseAbility holds many special events. Some of these events include a Spring Egg hunt, Annual Gala, Haunted Hay Barn, Poker Tournament, Paint Nights. Open House, Holiday parties, as well as many others. Check our News/Events section for upcoming events!