PO Box 1090
Medicine Hat, AB
Therapeutic Rides are a way for people with disabilities to learn interactively. Our therapeutic program is made up of passionate instructors and volunteers who go out of their way to come up with new games and excersizes to promote active learning in many areas.Students benifit from riding both physically and mentally, as riding helps promote joint movement, flexibility, muscle control, as well as promoting memory and communication skills. Our games are keyed towards increasing co-ordination and motor skills, as well as stimiluating the brain to strategize. This is a new program for Midnight's Trail, and we are very excited to get started. We are working towards building an indoor arena so that we can run this program year- round. The most rewarding part of it is celebrating our student's accomplishments with them!
23rd October, 2010
To Whom It May Concern:
The benifits of riding, as both physical and developmental therapy, are widely accepted in Europe and elsewhere in North America. These benifits take place as the movement of the horse is transferred in to the passive body of the rider. The three dimensional swinging gait of the horse causes the riders pelvis, trunk and shoulder girdle to react in ways very similar to those of a natural human walking gait. The gentle movement of the horse stimulates a natural instinct for riders to balance themselfs and maintain good posture. The riders typically go through a series of exercises that help to reduce spasticity, increase strength, coordination, flexibility, and muscle control. Imagine the feeling of riding a horse for someone usually confined to a wheelchair or with poor fine and gross motor skills!
Cognitively the riders develop their memory, their ability to concentrate, communication skills, the ability to plan and problem solve. As the rider's skills develop their self-esteem and confidence increases and they are encouraged to set higher goals for themselves. They are thrilled when they realize they can maneuver their horse thorugh obstacle courses and compete in games, races and activities during the riding lessons. The riders experience success and accomplishment which transfers into other areas of their lives as they realize they are capable of achieving challenging new goals!!
Our son, who has a number of disabilites has been attending lessons at Midnight's Trail, owned and operated by Jessica McLean, and we as a family have found that a number of the pre-mentioned benifits have been achieved in the time attending. This riding activity has not only benifitted our son, but our whole family and numerous others, which has been very powerful!
We understand that Jessica McLean is seeking funding, that will enable her and her dedicated team of instructors/volunteers to erect an indoor arena. The indoor arena will enable the theraputic riding lessons to be continued throughout the winter months in South Eastern Alberta and the opportunity for those individuals with disabilities to continue on achieving new goals!
We believe, as parents, that Midnight's Trail under the leadership of Jessica McLean will become, with your financial assistance, the school of excellence for theraputic riding in our local area and trust that you will kindly consider her application to receive funding to increase the benefit for individuals with disabilities in our rural area of South Eastern Alberta.
Mark and Michelle Freeman
We would like to thank Mark and
Michelle for allowing us to post a
reference letter that they have written
for us, and for their help to obtain
grants and other funding to construct
an indoor arena.
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Horseback riding removes physical and communication barriers, providing special needs riders with an equality that they may not experience in other activities. The ability to control an animal much larger and stronger than oneself is an extreme confidence builder.
The benifits of therapeutic riding have been recognized for many years. It is a proven method of increasing the physical, mental, emotional and developmental capabilities for individuals with disabilities, functional limitation or medical issues.
• Cognitive Activity
• Sensory Integration
• Correct Muscle Tone
• Gross & Fine Motor Skills
• Increased Physical Stamina
• Proper Posture
• Independence & Social Skills
• Emotional Stability
• Self Esteem
• ... and lots of smiles!