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  • Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center (TRC) is a nonprofit organization that has been providing quality education and therapy-based equine programs for people with disabilities since 1978. Originating with a handful of volunteers teaching lessons to just eight students, Fieldstone Farm TRC has evolved into a full-time, nationally accredited program, which currently serves over 700 students annually with the help of more than 600 volunteers!

    Equine therapeutic activities involve horse-related activities uniquely designed for people with cognitive, physical, emotional and social disabilities. Students of all ages learn horseback riding skills and basic horse care while receiving many benefits such as: improved balance, mobility, muscle tone, coordination and posture, enhanced independence and increased concentration and self-esteem. Riding has proven to be a highly motivational and enriching therapeutic and educational modality for students to set aside their crutches, wheelchairs and disabilities as they settle into the saddle.

    Mounted Lessons Horseback riding programs allow students the opportunity to sit atop a horse, which gives the riders freedom of movement, self-control and a sense of accomplishment, self-confidence and self-esteem. These programs are designed to accommodate varying degrees of self-sufficiency, from a novice who is physically or mentally impaired to a young adult or adult independent rider. Additional programs include:
    1. At-Risk Program - A special program was developed in 1999 to evaluate the effectiveness of equine therapy for at-risk students. The benefits include increased behavioral control, increased frustration tolerance, enhancement and development of skills related to nurturance and increased self-esteem.
    2. Autism Program - Individuals with autism who participate in therapeutic riding become involved in a process that breaks down tasks into successive steps that are attainable. The barn atmosphere lends itself naturally to creating an organized and predictable environment, with its various routines and required safety procedures. This consistency and the motivation of the horse activities entice the student to receive sensory input, learn to interpret this input and respond in a functional manner that is socially successful. Quite often the horse becomes a new found opportunity for the student to gain a depth of affection and an interest in pleasing. We have observed that this system encourages students with autism to become more willing to communicate with others.
    3. Carriage Driving - This program is becoming increasingly popular and effective. It enables students who are unable to sit astride a horse an opportunity to learn to communicate with the horse through their voice and hands, thereby enabling them to participate in arena and cross-country driving.
    4. Drill Team - The Fieldstone Farm TRC Drill Team offers students the opportunity to participate in a team sport called Quadrille riding. Students learn to walk and trot synchronized patterns in the ring as a team, which improves their individual horsemanship skills and also develops a sense of responsibility and teamwork.
    5. EquiClub - This program is designed to enhance participants' personal growth in a positive social atmosphere. Programs are un-mounted, equine-based and focused on providing social and experiential learning opportunities.
    6. Ground Lessons - Students learn to take responsibility and improve daily life skills through hands-on experiences with horse care and stable management. This segment of the program supplements the mounted program and teaches the participants how to groom, saddle, feed and bathe a horse and perform other appropriate activities that develop horse care skills.
    7. Hippotherapy - Equine-facilitated therapy is available for clients with specific and prescribed therapy goals. Hippotherapy is conducted with a physician's prescription under the direction of a Physical or Occupational Therapist, a certified therapeutic riding instructor and an appropriate number of volunteers performing the functions of leader and side-walkers. The horse is used as the therapy tool and has proven to be very effective.
    8. Instructor Training Program - Fieldstone Farm TRC professionals have developed a unique curriculum that prepares instructors to teach students with disabilities through a series of hands-on workshops. Fieldstone Farm TRC will host its first NARHA 3-day registered workshop and on-site certification in June 2002. Candidates will prepare for this weekend by attending four one-day workshops during January, April, and a 10 hour practicum in May.
    9. Literacy Program - The Literacy Program is offered to school groups in attendance and is designed to complement the school district language arts curricula. The program seeks to increase proficiency in reading, writing and comprehension based on the Ohio Academic Content Standards. Students are highly motivated by their unique and shared horsemanship experiences and become open to active learning, based on the fun they have while riding horseback.
    10. Performance Events - Fieldstone Farm TRC students are invited to participate in local horse shows and Special Olympic events as well as an annual student horse show at the Fieldstone Farm TRC facility.
    11. Summer Day Camp - Summer Camp at Fieldstone Farm TRC is a fun-filled, enriching, horse-oriented experience focused on improving horsemanship skills. Campers enjoy outdoor nature and art activities, horse care, horseback riding and special theme days. Professional horsemen visit to demonstrate and discuss different aspects of equine-related topics. Our guests range from a unit of the Cleveland Mounted Police to the Fieldstone Farm TRC Veterinarian to the Chagrin Valley Hunt's Huntsman and his Hounds.
    12. Vocational Education - Young adults and adults with disabilities, who are interested in exploring or pursuing a career in horse and stable management are offered vocational training and job placement assistance. The vocational program is operated by a licensed vocational/special education teacher recognized by the Ohio State Board of Education. We also offer a social skill development component for students with behavioral disabilities that is facilitated by a Licensed Independent Social Worker.