"NARHA is a membership organization that fosters safe, professional, ethical and therapeutic equine activities through education, communication, standards and research for people with and without disabilities."
The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) promotes equine facilitated therapy and activity programs in the United States and Canada. Currently, more than 650 NARHA program centers serve some 30,000 individuals with disabilities. Each year, dozens of new centers initiate new programs and thousands of individuals profit from these beneficial activities.
Since 1969, NARHA has ensured that therapeutic riding is both safe for, and accessible to, those in need. In that time the field of therapeutic riding has expanded along with the numbers of individuals profiting from involvement with horses. Today NARHA represents a growing number of equine assisted therapies and activities, including recreational riding for individuals with disabilities, hippotherapy, equine assisted psychotherapy, driving, vaulting, competition and other therapeutic and educational interactions with horses.
NARHA is proud to provide opportunities for people with varying ability levels to challenge themselves physically and emotionally and to set goals to improve their quality of life via the horse. Training professionals to support and facilitate this process, educating the public about the positive impact of the human/animal bond and setting national standards for safe and effective equine facilitated therapy/ activities will continue to dictate our growth.
More than 30,000 individuals with disabilities are served each year through NARHA programs. The American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association as a valuable adjunct to traditional forms of therapy recognize equine Facilitated Therapy and Activities. NARHA is also the accrediting organization for Easter Seals' camps with equine activities. Other organizations participating in NARHA programs include the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Special Olympics, Spina Bifida Association and United Cerebral Palsy.
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