EOS Therapeutic Riding Center is a non-profit organization providing Therapeutic horseback riding to children and adults with special needs. Founded in 1992 by Debbie Smith who was recovering from her own back injuries, EOS now has riders ages 2-64 with disabilities ranging from cerebral palsy and spina bifida to autism and learning disabilities.
Riders participate in weekly forty-five minute therapeutic riding sessions in a season that runs from April into November. Each rider is individually supervised by an instructor, trained through the Pennsylvania Council on Therapeutic Horsemanship, and assisted by up to three other volunteers. Each riding session is tailored for the needs and abilities of the rider. For example, some riders must have a back rider for support, while others are independent riders. Each riding session also includes various games and skill activities while on horseback to enhance balance, eye-hand coordination, strength and a variety of other abilities. Riders must be approved by their physician for participation. Additionally, we ask physicians and therapist to give us input about the therapeutic goals of the rider and to suggest activities to include or exclude from the riders’ programs.
The Center is located at Crystal Creek Acres, a twelve acre farm four miles northwest of Bloomsburg, PA. Two of these acres are leased from Crystal Creek Acres and contain an indoor riding arena, Kellen’s Place, with waiting area and stable facilities. The arena also includes appropriate ramps and mounting platforms for safely mounting and dismounting riders. We even have a motorized lift system that can take a rider directly from wheelchair to horseback. We also use an outside wooded trail for some riders. Both the trail and the riding arena contain various activity centers and games that are used to promote coordination, task completion and upper body strength. Other facilities available to Eos include a large outdoor riding ring.
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