One of Canada’s Oldest Therapeutic Riding Programs
The Halifax Junior Bengal Lancers has been home to a therapeutic riding program since the late 1960s when Dr. Crosby and Dr. Grant initiated a riding program for children from the Children’s Hospital and the School for the Blind. We continue to be affiliated with the IWK, and also offer horseback riding to other members of the community with special needs.
Our therapeutic riding program is run by volunteers. We carefully select all of our horses and ponies, based on their temperament and conformation. They are then given additional training to familiarize them with special circumstances that may arise and special equipment that may be necessary in our therapeutic riding program. We provide ASTM approved riding helmets and other equipment beneficial for various disabilities.
Equine Assisted Learning
We are able to offer Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) to groups on an individual group basis. We are working toward integrating this into part of our regular programming.
Benefits of Therapeutic Riding
Therapeutic Riding can help improve the physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being of most people with special needs. Riding for these equestrians can be a challenging and invigorating form of exercise and recreation that gives the rider a sense of accomplishment and increased self-esteem.
For individuals with disabilities that affect mobility, the horse provides freedom of movement and independence from assistive devices such as wheelchairs and crutches. The physical benefits include improvements in balance, and coordination, and an increase in agility because of the mobilization of stiff joints and strengthening muscles.
How You Can Help!
Become a Volunteer
We provide training
No horse experience is necessary but it is an asset
Provide Financial Support
Sponsoring a child to ride
Providing upkeep for a horse/pony
Organize a fundraising event
Donating to the general operating costs
Who Can Participate?
Our program is offered to children and young adults with disabilities such as, but not limited to:
Traumatic brain injuries or stroke,
Hearing and Visually Impaired,
Autism Spectrum Disorder,
If you know of a person whom you think would benefit from joining our therapeutic riding program, please contact us and you will be directed to our therapeutic riding coordinator. You will be asked a number of questions regarding the potential rider to assess whether this person would be a suitable candidate for the riding program.