Adaptive Riding Programs
From therapy to sport
Here at Wheatland Farm, our equestrian program is designed to bring ALL riders from the very beginning stages of their riding education to the highest levels of competition in the sport. Currently, our rider demographics reflect a very inclusive student body: 58% of our riders are traditional, able-bodied athletes; 32% are riders with varying developmental delays in adapted riding lessons, and 10% are para-equestrian riders. That means that almost half of our students are in need of adaptive programming, and half are fully able-bodied. 66% of our students are female, while 34% are male. Of that student body, 45% are children, 27% are teenagers, and 28% are adults! A great mix all around.
If you are a rider with a disability, you can begin riding for therapeutic benefit, either through our Adaptive Riding supported by a physical therapist or a riding instructor and volunteers. Many riders begin with us as therapy students, with goals to improve physical and cognitive skills. Over time, they may progress in independence and skill to become competitive riders.
There are several avenues for riders with disabilities including pure therapy, therapy progressing to adaptive sport, and eventually, sport competition. Para Dressage is the pinnacle of competitive sport riding for individuals with a 15% or greater permanent, measurable disability. Though not all riders with disabilities will qualify for or wish to compete at this level of equestrian sport, many do. The video below will help you understand more about the relationship between the journey from therapy to sport, and features Wheatland Farm's Executive Director Muriel Forrest, along with our USEF head Coach for Para Equestrian Dressage, Michel Assouline.
For more specific information about Adaptive Riding and Para Dressage registration, please click on the appropriate buttons on the right.
Traditional Riding Programs
A tradition of excellence since Xenophon
The art of equestrianism has been with us for thousands of years. Horses have played a crucial role in the development of mankind, from our earliest nomadic days to the establishment of great empires, to the exploration of new frontiers in the American colonies. Horses have faithfully partnered with humans to make possible some of our greatest achievements. In wartime and in peace, excellence in horsemanship was considered as essential an acquired skill as reading, writing, and arithmetic. With the industrial revolution and the modernization of the military, horses suddenly became a luxury pet rather than an essential companion.
However, the nobility, beauty, and fiercely independent spirit of the horse that has captivated humans for centuries, still does so today. The classical riding skills that prepared soldiers for battle have been honed and refined for sport, and derivations of those skills can be seen in the disciplines of dressage, jumping and cross country riding. Here at Wheatland Farm, our instruction of both horse and rider is rooted in the classical art of horsemanship. Our students and our horses develop skills in flatwork or dressage first and have the opportunity if they wish to advance those skills over fences. The care and maintenance of the horse is equally important to the holistic development of excellent horsemanship, so this too is included in instruction through our US Pony Club program. If what you are looking for is the very best in equestrian skill development at a top-class facility, contact us today, and achieve your goals tomorrow..... ENROLL