Easterseals at InStride Therapy Gives People with Disabilities an Opportunity to Make their Abilities Shine

The Giving Coast

Incorporating horses into occupational, physical and speech-language therapies provides a powerful tool for individuals with disabilities. This Saturday, December 3rd, Easterseals will be hosting an open house at their 62-acre ranch in Nokomis, where participants can meet the staff, engage with therapy horses and tour the facilities.

"Magic happens when children and adults with disabilities are paired with a gentle horse for therapy work," says Jill Gass, Vice President of Philanthropy at Easterseals Southwest Florida. Currently, 75 clients benefit from therapeutic riding at Easterseals, InStride Ranch, which is the nonprofit group's site for providing equine therapeutic sessions to their clients including hippotherapy, the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment, especially as a means of improving coordination, balance, and strength.

Not only do clients benefit physically from the work done on the backs of calm and nurturing horses at InStride Therapy and Equestrian Center, but they also experience the benefits of being outside for therapy in a beautiful, natural setting. With so much of their physical therapy work occurring indoors under fluorescent lights, this is a welcome time to experience the mental health benefits of being in nature. Therapy clients ride saddleless so that they can feel the cadence and connection to the horse. Hippotherapy has the unique characteristic of soothing the mind while strengthening the body.

"For each session, our clients work with a certified therapeutic riding instructor, a licensed therapist who works with clients on physical, occupational, and speech therapy, and three volunteers who act as the horse lead and side walkers," shares Gass. "Sessions take place in our 22,000 square foot covered riding arena which protects our clients, therapists, and volunteers from the harsh Florida sun and allows for therapy sessions to happen rain or shine."

Refreshments will be served at this weekend's open house and space is limited. For more information, contact tmedina@easterseals-swfl.org or 941-355-7637 x406.

Easterseals at InStride Therapy Open House, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. 1629 Ranch Road, Nokomis.


To learn more click here.

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