PALS provides therapeutic riding lessons for children and adults with physical, developmental, intellectual, learning or emotional disabilities and impairments, chronic illnesses as well as at risk-youth. These sessions include mounted activities from either traditional riding disciplines or adaptive riding activities and are conducted by a PATH Intl. certified instructor to ensure the highest quality services available in a safe and fun environment.
Common disabilities that we serve:
The most common reported benefits of therapeutic riding include an increase in ability to follow directions, improved balance, increased torso control, improved fine motor skills, improved long-term memory, improved posture, and increased respect for people.
PALS Horsemanship Program is a non-mounted equestrian program conducted by a PATH certified instructor. Participants will learn grooming and tacking, leading horses, equine anatomy and behavior, nutrition, barn management skills. This program is highly tailored to the individual’s abilities and goals.
The horsemanship program is ideal for individuals who:
May exceed PALS weight limit for mounted activities
Have a diagnosis that may contraindicate the individual for mounted activities
May be nervous about riding a horse
Want to learn more about the care of horses and the barn
Recreational riding activities are designed to develop equestrian skills and knowledge through traditional English riding lessons for beginning to intermediate riders without disabilities. Time is devoted to equine care, safety, and horsemanship ensure a well-rounded experience in addition to mounted instruction.
This inclusive camp is designed for children aged 5 to 12 who are beginner to intermediate riders. Campers will practice mounted and unmounted skills each day as they learn basic horse care. There will be crafts, games, and fun learning opportunities each day with a special horse show on Friday where campers can show off their new skills! Full and half-day options available.
The substance abuse and addiction problems in Monroe County are exploding, and PALS wants to be part of the solution. We have partnered with Indiana Center for Recovery (ICFR) in running a pilot program called Changing Leads and are already seeing excellent results.
There is emerging research that horses can play an important role in addiction recovery. Our unique equine-assisted therapy curriculum is designed to assist participants with psychological and emotional issues that they might not otherwise be able to address in traditional therapy. A 2008 study found that people who engage in equine therapy reported higher levels of self-esteem and coping ability (ncbi.nlm.nih.gov). Since horses are herd animals, they are able to sense and respond to other creatures’ (in this case, human) feelings such as being scared, angry, sad, happy or anxious. Working with the horses, participants are able to learn to build trusting relationships, control impulses, and receive and reflect on the immediate feedback from the horse, thus learning more about themselves and how their actions affect others.
EQUIPT provides youth with an opportunity to develop life skills such as leadership, setting boundaries, trust, and overcoming challenges via interaction with horses. As prey animals, horses live in herds and need a “herd leader” to protect them and provide guidance. When a human works with a horse, the two form their own little herd. It is the human’s job to earn the trust of the horse so that he is confident that his handler will keep him safe.
Horses are the perfect partner in programs that teach social-emotional skills! Equines mirror the feelings and energy of those in their herd. For example, if the human is nervous, the horse will also be nervous. If the handler is angry, the horse will be standoffish and avoid interacting with him or her. Participants are able to identify their feelings and work to control their emotions effectively with the immediate feedback provided by the horse.
Supporting the Engagement & Recovery of Veterans with Equines (SERVE) provides therapeutic equine programs for veterans that are conducive to healing, reintegration, and improved quality of life. Horseback riding and unmounted activities build strength, balance, self-confidence, self-esteem and independence in a barn environment that is peaceful, safe and accepting alongside fellow veterans, volunteers and staff.
Horses and soldiers have a long history together, from the horse’s first use in warfare to its more recent use as a rehabilitation partner. Veterans are often diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other physical wounds from combat, which can cause physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and behavioral challenges in making the transition from active duty to civilian life. Equine programs for veterans have been created to answer the growing need for alternative forms of therapy for wounded service members by offering different activities based on a group’s specific needs using horses, certified professionals, volunteers, and veteran comrades.
PALS is able to serve veterans with physical and/or emotional wounds such as:
Silver Spurs is designed to serve the senior citizen population of Bloomington and surrounding areas. Target groups are retirement homes. The program will consist of 1 hour of physical unmounted equine activities, such as grooming, leading, and bathing. Participants will also learn equine anatomy and behavior. The main goal of Silver Spurs is to offer a physical opportunity for senior citizens.