Special Equestrians, Inc.
Special Equestrians, Inc.
1215 Woodward Drive
Indian Springs AL 35124
Tax ID/EIN: 63-1064900
Year Founded: 1985
Last Updated 2016-04-24
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Why are we a Messenger?
The EQUUS Foundation has designated our organization as a Messenger. Click here to learn more about our horse care and use practices.
Messengers are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency and accountability by their willingness to publish and share extensive data about their operations.
Primary Focus involving horses (Horse Welfare, Public Service, Sport & Recreation): Public Service
Our organization operates programs involved with providing equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) using certified instructors for individuals with special needs.
Our organization is directly responsible for the care of horses to provide its services.
100% of our total programs and services are horse-related.
Our organization conducts its horse-related programs at one facility.
Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
Special Equestrians, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to provide high quality therapeutic horseback riding and equine assisted activities to persons with physical, mental, developmental and emotional disabilities.
The Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program is taught in small groups of up to six riders to allow for shared experiences with peers that may have similar disabilities and to encourage social interaction before, during, and after class. Children as young as four can participate and there is no specific upper age limit. Each rider may participate in weekly classes for nine weeks in the spring and fall and a four week term over the summer. Classes are approximately 45 minutes long and consist of stretching exercises and riding skills appropriate to their abilities. They may venture through the sensory trail where swim noodles, wind chimes and numerous activities are designed to promote sensory integration. Some classes include grooming and tacking the horse. Cost to the participant is $180 per nine week term and $80 per four week summer term. Tuition Discounts (scholarships) are provided for anyone who cannot afford to pay. <br /><br />Therapeutic riding can provide many physical, emotional, and psychological benefits to riders. Balancing on a constantly moving animal is quite a challenge for anyone but particularly for a rider with reduced motor skills. The movement of the horse closely mimics the hip action of a human being, providing physical benefits such as stimulation of dormant nerves, muscles, and even the vocal chords. The warmth of the horse’s body encourages relaxation of tight, rigid muscles reducing spasticity. Riders feel stronger and more confident as they learn to master the horse. Instructors weave important focus and decision making skills into each lesson. An obstacle course can do wonders for a rider’s processing skills. Social skills are enhanced through interaction with volunteers, staff and fellow riders. <br /><br />Summer Camp is held for two weeks in June, offering riders an in-depth look at proper horse care. They learn to groom and tack their horses in preparation for their daily lessons, clean stalls and do barn chores. Classroom time includes horse anatomy, simple first aid, how to clean tack and a visit from our Veterinarian. Riders achieve a sense of normalcy and confidence as they care for the horses and equipment. Cost to the participant is $180 for a 4 day camp. Tuition Discounts (scholarships) are provided for anyone who cannot afford to pay.<br /><br />Hippotherapy allows the client to receive Occupational Therapy on the back of a horse. Sessions are conducted one-on-one by a specially trained, licensed therapist who uses the horse’s movement as the primary tool to achieve functional goals. For many individuals poor postural control, decreased coordination, or impaired sensory processing may limit their independence in their home or school environment. By combining the movement of the horse with specially designed activities and movement patterns, the therapist works to target specific muscles and improve sensory processing of the client. The rider is then educated on how to use these improvements to increase independence in functional tasks such as walking, dressing, eating, and work or school activities. Cost to the participant is $65 per 45 minute session. Tuition Discounts (scholarships) are provided for anyone who cannot afford to pay.<br /><br />Horseabilities is a transitional class for riders that are no longer able to use Occupational Therapy, but are not yet ready for the group therapeutic riding. It is supervised by both a therapist and instructor. It utilizes many of the same concepts used in Hippotherapy, but allows for a group experience. Volunteers are specially trained to give correct support and the riders are more carefully monitored for fatigue. Due to the need for both a Therapist and Instructors, cost is $270 for 9 weeks, but tuition discounts (scholarships) are provided for anyone who cannot afford to pay.<br /><br />Unmounted activities are provided for a limited number of participants that are not able to ride any longer due to balance or weight issues. These participants might do barn chores and care for the horse or learn to lead the horse from their wheelchair. We find that they feel an enormous sense of pride in accomplishing these tasks just as they did when they were riding. Our goal is to allow them to ride once again if they are able.