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4STEPS Therapeutic Riding Program

5367 Sixty Foot Road Parsonsburg MD 21849  410-835-8814  giddyup4steps@aol.com

Message from Executive Director Sandy Winter

from 2018 4STEPS Express Newsletter

Lessons Learned from our Riders

Sometimes it’s a high five with a sidewalker after a successful ‘whoa’ or a pat on a horse’s neck.  It can be as dramatic as a child who is typically nonverbal telling his horse to ‘giddy-up’, or as subtle as the flash of understanding in a little girl’s eyes. As a PATH Intl Certified Instructor those moments are the heart of a lesson or session. Those small advances in a participant’s behavior, physical capacity or ability to communicate can, over time, result in permanent changes. Families report that the skills their children learned at the farm and on the trails often carry over into the home and school. Many times participants report they are better able to perform tasks, cope with their emotions and handle challenges in their lives.

 None of these changes occur in a single lesson or session. I regularly confer with parents, educators, therapists and/or medical professionals in setting goals and coordinating a participant’s progress. Being with the horses is often one of the numerous physical and psychological interventions in a participant’s week. Yet for many, that special partnership between a horse and a participant is an important key to unlock the learning process. That is why this newsletter is devoted to what takes place during a participant’s time at the farm and on the trail.

'Not all classrooms have four walls'