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Program Details


Activities Offered
  • Hippotherapy
  • Horseback Riding
Building Access
  • Meets ADA standards
  • Accessible areas of building: Parking Area, Ramps, Arena

Staff Training and Certification
  • Staff Training: NARHA-Certified Instructors, Physical Therapy/ PT Assistant

Participants Served
  • Age range of participants: 3 to 65

  • Accessible by Public Transportation: No

  • Transportation Provided by the Program: No


The Saddle Light Center's mission is to provide equine-assisted therapy for children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities. The center's goal is to inspire riders to achieve accomplishments previously considered beyond their capabilities. The Saddle Light Center is committed to improving the self-esteem and quality of life individuals with disabilities in the San Antonio area.

Therapeutic Riding, also known as Equine Assisted Therapy, Equine Facilitated Therapy, and Riding for the Disabled, is the use of the horse and equine oriented activities to achieve a variety of therapeutic objectives, including cognitive, physical, emotional, social, educational and behavioral goals.

Hippotherapy (physical therapy on horseback, using the horse as a therapeutic tool) has been recognized in most major countries. Medical doctors, psychiatrists, physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, and teachers all refer patients and students to riding programs for the disabled. Riding for the disabled has become a well recognized method of improving the lives of those who refuse to let their disabilities limit them.

  • The ability to control a horse as well as one's own body inspires self-confidence, responsibility and teamwork. Best of all it is a thoroughly enjoyable experience, which creates a special relationship between rider and horse and promotes personal challenge. From the beginning, riders develop balance, coordination and self-assurance while receiving therapeutic muscle stimulation.
  • As a result of carefully planned lessons, poise, posture, strength and flexibility improve
  • A strong sense of responsibility develops as the rider learns to take part in the care of the horses and equipment.
  • Advanced equestrian skills, teamwork and cooperation are learned as the rider becomes independent on horseback.
  • Classes, horse shows and events encourage self-confidence and a sense of accomplishment as new levels of expertise and challenges are met.


Riders must be at least two years old. All riders must provide a physician's medical statement and a complete medical history. These will include an assessment by the physician of any contraindications or precautions as they relate to horseback riding. Once the physician referral and medical history are received, a new rider evaluation will be scheduled to determine the specific needs of the rider.

Lessons are given in a class of two or three students that are compatible in age, ability, and type of disability. The length of the lesson depends on the riders' endurance, which usually ranges between 20-45 minutes. Lessons are supervised by an instructor who is assisted by a volunteer team of horse leader and 1-2 sidewalkers.

We recommend each student ride once per week. Appointments are scheduled for each rider for the same day and time slot each week.

Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, between 4-9 p.m. A limited number of appointments are available during the day on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on instructor and volunteer availability. No lessons are conducted on Saturdays, as they are reserved for new rider evaluations. We are closed on Sundays.

Lessons are thirty-five dollars per session.


Most insurance carriers do not yet cover the cost of therapeutic riding lessons. Hippotherapy sessions conducted by a physical therapist may be covered under some policies. The Saddle Light Center does not assume responsibility for filing any insurance claims on behalf of their riders.