The benefits of therapeutic riding, long recognized by a select
group of equine therapists, gained national attention after James
Brady, press secretary to then-President Ronald Reagan, was shot
during an assassination attempt on the President's life. Paralyzed,
Brady turned to hippotherapy to help him in the rehabilitation process.
Twenty years later, equine facilitated therapy is recognized the
world over as being instrumental in helping individuals with disabilities
to conquer both physical and the mental challenges.
There are a variety of associations across the country that specialize
in equine facilitated therapy, and the best known of these is the
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA). Formed
in 1969, NARHA has helped thousands of disabled clients through
the United States and Canada meet the challenges brought on by their
particular handicaps. There are now hundreds of NARHA-associated
riding centers, and a stable with this affiliation guarantees a
certain standard of professionalism, knowledge, and safety.
NARHA runs a rigorous certification program that can be likened
to obtaining a pilot’s license. Before certification, instructors
must have a certain amount of teaching hours with an accredited
therapeutic riding program. Upon completion of the time requirements,
candidates must take a written test, as well as an on-site test
demonstrating their knowledge around the horse and the client. They
must be certified in CPR and First Aid, and have those skills updated
Patchwork Farm, LLC is a NARHA center and has a NARHA Certified
Instructor on staff.
From the Greek word "hippos" which means horse, hippotherapy
is a treatment that uses the multidimensional movement of the horse.
Specially trained physical, occupational and speech therapists use
this medical treatment for clients who have movement dysfunction.
Clients who may benefit from hippotherapy can have a variety of
diagnoses: examples include Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis,
Developmental Delay, Traumatic Brain Injury, Stroke, Autism and
Learning or Language Disabilities. However, hippotherapy is not
for every client. Each potential client must be evaluated on an
individual basis by specially trained health professionals.
Patchwork Farm, LLC hosts Renee Maddox a Certified Therapist who uses our
facility and school horses to provide services for her clients.
Volunteering at Patchwork Farm
The important work done at Patchwork Farm by the Therapists cannot take place without the help
of volunteers to serve as Leaders and Side-Walkers. Be a part of
something positive and worthwhile in our beautiful natural setting-
Be a Patchwork Farm Volunteer!
Photo courtesy of: SusanKFriedland