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Equest Special Riders, Inc.
Equest Special Riders, Inc. is a non-profit organization of trained volunteers who provide therapeutic-recreational horseback and pony riding and instruction for persons left physically or mentally dysfunctional through irregularities of birth, high fevers, disease or trauma from an accident. A few students are adults; the greatest majority of the Special Riders are children. Children, who might never have walked, enjoy a chance to experience the exhilaration of moving freely, mounted atop a horse or pony. While riders are involved in specialized games designed to improve coordination, the horses' gait massages their leg muscles. You need only watch one session to realize how much riding impacts the self-confidence and well being of the students.Located in the Puget Sound area of western Washington state. This program of trained volunteers, offering therapeutic horseback riding to persons with Developmental Disabilities, has been in existence since 1982. Why horseback riding? Riding develops self-confidence and coordination and strengthens muscles. Attention span increases and self-esteem is elevated. And besides, it's fun. Equest offers 2-month sessions at a nominal cost to the riders. Riders, able to pay, are asked a fee of $25.00 per session. Actual cost to Equest is $60.00 per session. Students unable to pay, are helped with "scholarships" from Equest. Contributions from individuals and companies and the proceeds from United Way and the Key Classic, a benefit horse show, sponsored by the Morgan Horse Club of Washington provide the major source of funding for the program. The same volunteers who provide "hands- on" sessions are regular financial contributors to Equest. None are independently wealthy. During their lessons, riders receive instruction in basic horsemanship as well as specialized activities for their individual disabilities.Our well-trained horses accept wheelchairs, ramps, and various procedures. We have horses to accommodate all sizes of riders from small children to large adults. The ages, as well as the type of disabilities of the riders vary. All riders must have their physician complete forms stating that the student is physically able to participate in the program prior to beginning the program. Equest is a member of the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association NARHA . Our riding instructor is NARHA Certified.