Spokesdog's Canine Couch

A journey about dogs and their people by Diane Rich


Therapeutic Riding

August 12th, 2012 at Sun, 12th, 2012 at 6:32 pm by Diane Rich

A Gift that Keeps on Giving

photo courtesy of Shadow Hills

Animals provide a variety of services for humans.  One of the many gifts animals provide people is of a therapeutic nature. Unlike people who take on a more active role in caretaking and therapy, animals just have to “be.”

Without words, an animal can connect with a complete stranger and create serenity and inner peace. In the case of therapeutic riding they offer much more. The results may last past being in their presence or going for a little ride.

Tyler’s condition is Cerebral Palsy
Photo courtesy of Shadow Hills

Shadow Hills Riding Club out of California provides therapeutic riding. We found each other through what else, social media.

Shadow Hills Riding club is one of the many equine therapy non profits around the country.  I had the immense pleasure to talk with the founder and director of Shadow Hills Riding Club, Johnny Higginson. Johnny has over forty years of expertise as an equestrian and arts professional. Johnny@shadowhillsridingclub.org

The mission of this non profit organization is to offer animal assisted therapy by the way of therapeutic riding to children and adults and help with the healing process both emotionally and physically .  At this time Shadow Hills has served people from 4 to 94 years of age  Some of the conditions served by Shadow Hills include cerebral palsy, autism, post traumatic stress disorder and addiction.

I had completed this blog and was ready to upload it then received this youtube video. After viewing it opted to delete the majority of my text as it could not give my readers anything close to the visual.

This heartwarming youtube video about Shadow Hills says it all. Please watch and enjoy.

One of the programs offered at Shadow Hills Offers that also got my attention was Saddles for Soldiers. The staff and volunteers use horses to support our veterans in their transitional stages heal both emotionally and physically after returning from combat. All sessions include a mental health therapist.

For those of us who are heavily involved with pet therapy or animal assisted therapy and incorporate a variety of species in our programs, we know firsthand the healing power of pets.

I thank animals for their gifts.

To learn more about this organization in California go to: www.ShadowhillsRidingClub.org

Diane Rich Dog Training, LLC

I have been training dogs and their people for over 20 years. I work with pups from 7 weeks old to senior plus dogs and offer basic obedience to advanced off leash training both privately and group classes. Other services include behavior consultations to help both ends of the leash with everything from aggression, puppy/dog manners and public manners to separation anxiety. As a "real world" dog trainer, I take training out of the classroom or home when both the pet and family are ready, and take training to the street. I also offer pet therapy training classes preparing both the handler and dog for their therapy test and future service as a therapy team and coordinate several pet therapy programs in the Seattle area. My complete bio, description of services, class dates and on line class registration is listed on my website at www.spokesdog.com.

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