Westwind 4-H provides horseback riding lessons to children with disabilities.
Horseback riding is one of the few recreational activities that is truly physically therapeutic. It requires the involvement of the whole body and utilizes every muscle and joint. Horseback riding offers a combination of sensory, cognitive and emotional stimulation that facilitates mobility, socialization, and independence. The horse’s rhythmical swinging movement challenges the rider’s whole body to continually respond with natural movements. Tight muscles relax, lax muscles are stretched and strengthened, coordination is improved, and circulation increased. Game-oriented lessons and occasional trail rides are fun for the children and provide variety. Each child advances according to his or her own ability—whether it be increased mobility, improved self-esteem, or just enjoying outdoor fun and a sense of accomplishment. Riders range in age from 5 to 19 and come from many Bay Area communities.
Year-Round Riding Program
Our riding program has sessions during fall, winter, and spring and are held on Monday and Thursday afternoons from 4 to 5 pm. The sessions are ten weeks long, and a different set of riders and volunteers come on each day. A shorter summer session is held in the evenings during the month of July.
It is as important to exercise the spirit as it is the body, and horseback riding contributes much to both the emotional well-being and physical progress of the rider.
The Benefits of Riding
- Develop coordination and balance.
- Increase range of motion.
- Improve attention and concentration.
- Build confidence and self-esteem.
- Afford freedom of mobility not usually available to the disabled.
- Offer outdoor fun and a sense of accomplishment.
- Allow disabled and able-bodied people in the community to work together.
- Develop horsemanship skills, and independence in riding to the extent that each child is capable.
Do you have a child who may be interested in our program?
Call us at (650) 947-8680.