LazyPaw Animal Hospitals loves serving critters of all shapes and sizes, and that includes more animal friends than just our favorite dogs and cats! We also care for birds, lizards, farm animals, and horses. That’s why today we’re excited to talk about one of our favorite local partners, Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship.
The program works with about 500 riders every year and specializes in both children and adults with all ranges of physical, cognitive, and emotional challenges and disabilities. Riders see substantial progress in posture, balance, muscle control, anxiety management, and self confidence.
Founded in 1981, Equest created the first therapeutic riding program in Texas and is now one of the largest nonprofit therapeutic riding centers in the state. The farm includes 35 incredible horses, 12 certified riding instructors, and more than 700 trained volunteers who donate more than 35,000 hours of direct service each year.
Equest has a great relationship with PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship), a federally registered 501 (c3) nonprofit established in 1969. Equest’s full time staff includes a PATH International certified master instructor, four certified advanced instructors, and three certified registered instructors. The staff also includes three physical therapists and one occupational therapist.
The nationally respected therapy staff is licensed and certified with advance training in Hippotherapy, a specialty treatment that uses a horse’s movements to address impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in patients with neuromotor and sensory dysfunction.
The facility also offers therapeutic sports riding, therapeutic interactive vaulting, and therapeutic carriage driving. Children as young as four years old can start training, and lessons can be private, semi-private, or in groups. Each student progresses at their own pace and sets personal goals ranging from holding the reins for one full circuit of the arena to competing in the international arena. Benefits for every rider are physical, mental, emotional, and social.
Like LazyPaw Animal Hospitals, Equest is passionate about honoring military service men and women. The horse center offers current service members, honorably discharged veterans, and adult military family members equine activities free of charge. The Hooves for Heroes program includes Hippotherapy, Therapeutic Horsemanship, and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy.
Equest is located in Wylie, Texas on a 48-acre farm just outside of Dallas. The center has indoor and outdoor arenas, a specialized treatment facility, a 39-stall barn, two out barns, administrative offices, conference room, and dormitory housing for interns and instructor candidates.
If you’re interested in equine therapy, we strongly recommend our friends at Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship!