Locating a Program
The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) has over 600 centers across the United States with over 30,000 people with disabilities participating in their programs. Operations vary in size from large to small, with some of the largest having several therapists and instructors. NARHA provides program accreditation to ensure high safety standards at riding centers, and three levels of instructor certification.
NARHA has many items for sale, including a NARHA guide, which includes information on therapeutic riding, managing an existing riding center, and NARHA programs and events across the US.
NARHA also maintains an extensive website with information on therapeutic riding, the American Hippotherapy Association, "CAN" - the Competitive Association of NARHA, "EFP" - Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, and the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association. Their address is:
NARHA P.O. Box 33160 Denver, CO 80233 Phone: 800-369-RIDE or 303-452-1212 Fax: 303-252-4610
NARHA PUBLICATIONS (contact NARHA for costs and ordering information, or check the website): NARHA Guide Start-Up Packet General Workshop Notebook NARHA Curriculum for Riding Therapy NARHA Operating Standards NARHA Instructor Educational Guide DRIVING for the DISABLED
Dr. Walter Bobechko, Director of Humana Advanced Surgical Institute, Orthopedic Center of Dallas, TX, states, "children and adults riding at NARHA centers experience a wide-range of benefits including increased flexibility (mentally, emotionally and physically), and better balance to greater confidence, and self-esteem. These benefits are often reported in conjunction with friendships formed during the therapeutic riding experience with people ranging from the van driver and the volunteer side walker, to the horse itself. In addition to the physical benefits, therapeutic riding offers psychological benefits, because riders feel a sense of achievement and control. Therapeutic riding requires balance and muscular control that often enhances or expedites recovery. The slow continuous motion of the horse is therapeutic and helps develop the muscles around the spine."