It all starts with a phone call to our center. At the time preliminary information is taken regarding the potential rider’s height, weight, age, primary diagnosis and any other contributing factors and special considerations. We will need to know if the rider is ambulatory and to what extent, if they are not ambulatory a general description of their trunk, neck and head stability are factors taken into consideration. The information at the initial telephone or personal interview will help the Program Director/Head Instructor a basis to determine the program for the rider, number of assistants, appropriate horse and equipment and what type of exercises to be used in the lesson.
If there appears to be no contraindications to enrollment the potential rider will be given an enrollment package for completion, including medical release which is to be signed by a supervising physician, stating there is no reason why the rider cannot participate in supervised equestrian activities. After completion, an appointment can be made for an initial evaluation.
Back Bay Therapeutic Riding Club offer sessions of eight weeks, consisting of one lesson per week, each session having 3 evaluations, an initial, mid-session and an end of session evaluation. When the next session starts the evaluation process will start over but will be reflective of the prior evaluations.
At the first evaluation the enrollment information and all pertinent medical information will be reviewed. The Program Director will look for any additional information that may be important to note in the rider’s records, such as seizures, allergies and asthma. Once all enrollment papers have been reviewed and found to be in order the rider will be introduced to the horse specially selected for them and the first lesson can begin.
Depending on the type(s) and extent of the rider’s disabilities, the initial evaluation is prepared based on their physical and cognitive abilities and communication and social skills while on the horse. Posture, flexibility, balance, gross motor skills and fine motor skills are assessed, as well as the ability to make eye contact, verbal expression and listening abilities, ability to socially interact and other communication skills.
Based on the initial evaluation and review of the information provided by the rider’s physician, physical therapist or other health care professionals, the Program Director then develops a lesson plan and goals for the balance of the session. All the necessary forms for enrollment can be downloaded from our website.