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Magic Moments Riding Therapy
NARHA Premier Accredited Center
"The facility is located on 36 acres 10 miles east of Joplin Missouri, and 1 1/2 miles east of JR'S Western Store — take Newton Road east to County Lane 125. We have a heated, handicapped accessible indoor riding arena, large outdoor riding arena and a ever-expanding sensory trail. The use of horseback riding as physical therapy is a rapidly growing concept. The benefits have proven to be enormous for individuals with all types of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, spina bifida, autism and mental retardation. Research shows that students that participate in therapeutic riding experience physical, emotional and mental rewards. Because of the gentle rhythm of the horse's movements, a rider who is unable to walk alone can experience a motion similar to the human gait, thereby improving abilities to be flexible, to have better balance and better muscle strength.
Horseback riding is also therapeutic for those with mental disabilities. The unique relationship that forms between horse and rider can lead to an increase in confidence, patience and self-esteem. A student who has always been too ""slow"" to participate in normal school athletics, as in the case of a student with mental retardation, can now demonstrate their abilities through horseback riding. In many cases, the horse becomes an ""equalizer"" for the student. Each class is taught by a NARHA certified instructor with the assistance of several volunteers who have also received training. Students are encouraged to progress at their own pace, and according to their individual abilities. Basic instruction is given which includes grooming, tacking, horsemanship and riding skills. Classes also include exercise, games, and much more. The classes are designed to provide more than just physical benefits, and with the growing sense of accomplishment, the students' self-esteem will greatly increase."