Northland Therapeutic Riding Center

Address: PO Box 1267
Kearney, MO 64060
Phone: (816) 808-1209 Email: Website:


"Northland Therapeutic Riding Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on improving the quality of life of children and adults with special needs through equine-oriented therapy and activities. At NTRC, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, therapeutic riding instructors, volunteers, riders, and horses are partners in the equine-assisted therapeutic process. Individuals with a wide range of physical, emotional, and learning challenges can benefit from work with the horse. Equine-assisted activities have been shown to improve balance, posture, muscle tone, coordination, and motor development as well as emotional well-being. It’s also fun! The term ""therapeutic riding"" encompasses a variety of equine activities in which people with special needs participate. This term, however, has caused some confusion. When a therapist uses the movement of the horse as a treatment tool to improve neuromuscular function, it is referred to as hippotherapy. When a therapeutic riding instructor uses the horse as a therapeutic tool to improve the physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being of a rider, it is referred to as therapeutic riding. At NTRC, all therapeutic riding instructors are certified through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association. In therapeutic riding, the participant is learning riding skills. The instructor develops lesson plans that incorporate specific riding skills to meet the unique needs of each rider. As quoted from the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association web site,, ""Hippotherapy is a term that refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment tool by Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and Speech-Language Pathologists to address impairments, functional limitations, and disabilities in patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. Hippotherapy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.In hippotherapy, the patient engages in activities on the horse that are enjoyable and challenging. In the controlled hippotherapy environment, the therapist modifies the horse's movement and carefully grades sensory input. Specific riding skills are not taught (as in therapeutic horseback riding); but rather a foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing. This foundation can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities.""
NTRC is located in a strengthening and nurturing environment in Kearney, MO., just 23 miles north of Kansas City.
One cannot visit NTRC without realizing that something special is taking place. To learn how you can become part of our special program, click on the appropriate link."

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