Freedom Reins is our riding program which specifically serves our beautiful, special needs kids. We serve children, ages 5 and up, with a variety of special needs including, but not limited to, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, ADHD, and physical disabilities. While Freedom Reins is not a therapeutic riding program per se, we recognize that horseback riding is extremely beneficial to our participants both physically and emotionally. Therefore we strive to individualize each session based on each child’s needs, skills, and goals. A typical Freedom Reins session provides time for connecting with the horse and learning responsibility through opportunities to groom and just spend time with a horse. Mounted time at each session focuses on balance, strength building, and following instructions through riding and fun activities done on horseback. Some of our activities include using rings to toss onto a post and balls to throw into a basket, clipclopping over our “bridge”, checking our mailbox for fun surprises, and popping bubbles. Each of our participants is assigned one or two side-walkers to insure his or her safety.
Our Freedom Reins Instructors are Kelly Donaldson and Jeni Sperry. Kelly is a pediatric nurse at St. John’s and a special needs mom herself. Jeni is a Refuge Ranch board member and has a heart for special needs children. Together they have crafted Freedom Reins as an opportunity for participants to experience the freedom and joy that comes with riding and interacting with a horse.
Please feel free to contact Jeni or Kelly for more information or to schedule an orientation.