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Adaptive Riding is recreational horseback riding lessons for individuals with special needs. Clients learn horsemanship and riding skills in an environment tailored to their individual needs and learning styles. We offer instruction to clients of all skill levels, from providing someone's first contact with a horse to advanced independent riders.  Clients may be assisted by a horse leader and / or sidewalkers (based on the client's needs) which provides an enjoyable social environment.  The goals for those in the adaptive riding program are riding-skill based, but individuals and parents often report many therapeutic benefits of participation. Studies have also shown significant therapeutic benefits from participating in adaptive riding.  These benefits include improvements in physical strength, balance, coordination, mobility, muscle tone, self-confidence, self-control, peer interaction, and social skills.

Adaptive riding lessons are overseen by PATH International certified instructors who create a wide variety of games and exercises designed to meet each client's needs. Lesson plans take into account the client's physical, emotional, and mental strengths and limitations. Classes include arena riding, trail rides, and group activities. With the combination of a trusted horse, instructor, and group of volunteers, riders become more willing to try new things and attain new goals.  Our Instructors are have completed a comprehensive training program to achieve their Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Intl.) credentials as well as yearly continuing education and CPR certification. 


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How Adaptive Riding Works

A horse's soothing rhythm, strength, warmth, and three-dimensional movement pattern provide healthy exercise. The discipline associated with working with horses and the social interactions between peers benefit the mind and spirit while raising self-esteem and increasing self-sufficiency through accomplishment. The unconditional love of the horses has been proved to reduce anxiety, encourage interaction, and offer a haven where clients can feel a sense of empowerment.  Each Strides horse undergoes careful screening to ensure he / she has the appropriate disposition, physical movement, and level of training necessary for adaptive riding.

Who Benefits

Each week, approximately 40 children and adults with disabilities between the ages 2 years and up participate in the many Strides programs. These clients represent numerous diagnoses with most having multiple diagnoses. Common diagnoses include, but are not limited to: autism, developmental delay, ADHD, anxiety, PTSD, spina bifida, brain injuries, scoliosis, stroke, rare genetic disorders, cerebral palsy, and down syndrome.

How Old Does A Client Need To Be?

Minimum age to begin traditional adaptive riding lessons is 4 years old.  No age cap.

How Do I Get Signed Up?

Call our Client Coordinator at 509-492-8000 option 1 or email at to inquire about availability.

Can I Sign Up For Multiple Sessions?

Yes.  As long as your yearly application is signed and submitted and full payment has been received to reserve your session date(s).  The Client Coordinator can discuss this further with you.


Is There A Sibling Discount?

Not at this time.  Strides strives to keep the lesson rate as low as feasible as we rely heavily on donations from people like you as well as community businesses to help offset the costs of running a nonprofit such as Strides.

Does Insurance Cover Adaptive Riding Lessons?

No, since it is considered recreational.  However, we accept a limited number of DSHS / DDA payments per session.  The Client Coordinator can discuss this further with you.

How Do I Sign Up?

Fill out the Client Form (new clients) or Returning Clients (if you are returning from the prior year).  Submit your forms to Strides via mail or email.  We encourage you to follow the 2023 Deadlines so you don't miss out.

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