Young Adults (20-25 years)
Equine assisted therapy program for veterans, active military, first responders and other individuals who are interested in improving their quality of life.
Our Horsemanship for Heroes program is one of our newest offerings. There is growing interest in this program from active military, veterans, first responders, and other community organizations. The early success of this program can best be summed up in the feedback we received from one of our active military students:
"Colorado Horsepower is an opportunity for which I am most grateful. I started riding in the Veterans Program with the intent to better myself and recover from personal life problems. Since I've been given the opportunity to ride in the program, Colorado HorsePower has given me the confidence I was lacking and the appreciation of horsemanship. Colorado HorsePower has given me a lifelong skill that I will use for years to come."
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Therapeutic riding lessons for persons dealing with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Lessons are conducted in an individual or group settings under the supervision of trained instructors and supportive volunteers.
As in many areas of behavioral health specific state and national rates with quantifiable outcomes are difficult to locate. However, our experience is consistent with the results of a growing body of scientific evidence that demonstrates the benefits of this approach. Supportive research findings include:
• Therapeutic horseback riding has been shown to demonstrate substantial health benefits for such individuals as kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. A 2011 study by the Autism Treatment Center (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center) evaluated children with ASD, before during and after receiving equine therapy. The study found that severity of autism symptoms decreased, and parent reported quality of life measures improved.
• A 2015 clinical trial by the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus/Children's Hospital Colorado involving 116 autistic children showed that a 10-week regiment of therapeutic horseback riding significantly improved symptoms of autism such as irritability, hyperactivity, social cognition and social communication, compared with a control group. Those children who engaged in therapeutic horseback riding also showed significant increases in verbal communication skills, including the number and types of words used.
• A study published in 2017 by researchers at University of Houston, Korea National University of Transportation, and Dongguk University showed that after participating in 4-week horseback riding program, children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD") demonstrated improvements in anxiety, depression, attention, and learning disorder.
The body of scientific research continues to validate our experience. Equine-assisted therapies have been recognized in the medical and mental health field by most major countries. In some instances, riders with disabilities demonstrate their remarkable accomplishments in national and international sport riding competitions. Our program helps the rider build confidence, self-efficiency, communication, trust, perspective, social skills, impulse control, and learn boundaries. Since the horses have similar behaviors with humans, such as social and responsive behaviors, it is easy for the students to create a connection with the horse.
A few examples from our program illustrate this success:
• Debbie, age 44 talked for the first time when going to HorsePower with the word "horse"
• Mike has been a student at HorsePower for the last 20-plus years and continues to reap the benefits of increased self-confidence, core strengthening, improved balance and interaction with wonderful horses and dedicated instructors in a stress-free atmosphere.
• Simone was a child that experienced early childhood trauma. Riding at HorsePower under the careful guidance of instructors and volunteers, Simone has gained confidence. Riding has had clinical benefits such as improved coordination and speech. Above all, she has received gift of the joy of riding.