Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Therapeutic riding provides benefits in the areas of health, education, sport and recreation & leisure. Therapeutic Riding participants are learning to control the horse using such skills as reining and use of aids. All therapeutic riding sessions are conducted by a PATH, Intl. certified instructor and periodically reassessed by a licensed therapist. Therapeutic riding sessions are conducted in a group setting with 2 to 3 riders riding at a time. All riders are accompanied by a leader and two sidewalkers if needed. Some participants progress to the point that they are able to ride independently.
Our Therapy Services are conducted by a Occupational, Physical or Speech Therapist (OT, PT, ST). HETRA’s Therapists specialize in Hippotherapy and have been specially trained to use the movement of the horse to facilitate improvements in their client/patient. It does not teach the client how to ride the horse. Therapists use traditional techniques such as NDT (neurodevelopmental treatment) and SI (sensory integration) along with the movement of the horse as part of their treatment strategy. All goals are therapy directed such as improving balance, coordination, posture, fine motor control, articulation and increasing cognitive skills.
Therapeutic Carriage Driving
Carriage Driving is a fast growing sport. HETRA offers participants that do not wish to be or cannot be mounted on a horse the rewards of interaction and control of a horse while driving from a carriage seat. Using a horse and carriage gives participants an alternative or an addition to riding, opening up the world of horses to those who may be unable to ride due to weight, balance, fatigue, fear of heights, the inability to sit astride, or other issues. Therapeutic Driving is all about imparting knowledge of safety, horses, harnessing, and driving skills to children and adults using teamwork. All Therapeutic Driving sessions are conducted by a PATH, Intl. certified Driving Instructor and is accompanied by an able bodied whip. It takes 3 to 5 volunteers to make one driving turn out!
Equine Services For Veterans
HETRA started our Veteran program in September of 2010. Veterans of any age and type of disability are encouraged to explore participation in this program (specific precautions and contraindications to horseback riding will be addressed through a thorough evaluation by an occupational therapist to determine eligibility). Our Veteran program is designed to evaluate and provide opportunities for improvement physically, mentally and socially for participants. Veterans will participate in 45 minute therapeutic sessions conducted by the HETRA team. The HETRA team consists of Veteran Volunteers (Horse leaders and sidewalkers to assist the participant), PATH, Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors, Occupational Therapists, and a Mental Health Therapist.
Miniature Horse Camps:
Horse camps are fun for all ages and skill levels! During Horse Camps, participants will learn more about horse handling from the ground. They will be paired with a Miniature Horse that they will lead through an in hand trail course. They will also learn how to groom and ready their miniature horse, parts of the horse, different horse tack, play games, make crafts, learn about nature through nature walks, and so much more!
Contact us at (402) 359-8830 to reserve your spot!
In 2014 HETRA formed our first Special Olympics Nebraska Equestrian Team!! The HETRA team was very successful and had a great time at the competition in Grand Island! Please contact us for more information about the Special Olympics Team: (402) 359-8830.
Life Skills Training
Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy, HETRA, is excited to launch a Life Skills Training Program. This program is HETRA’s first step to moving beyond the arena and providing a more full service program to individuals with disabilities. Organizations in our community are searching for life skills and vocational training programs with vast experiences. The barn provides a unique environment for the urban population.
Duties of participants in the Life Skill Training Program include cleaning helmets, tack, toys, equipment, and stalls. Individuals also assist with maintenance of the facility, as well as customer service and sales at HETRA’s Tack Shack. Additionally, they help with riding session activities such as grooming the horses. These activities are all completed within a structured and supported environment. This safe environment allows individuals to develop skills such as staying on task, following directions, following safety rules, and working with others. Job Coaches are required to attend with participants. Please contact us for more information about the Life Skills Training Program: (402) 359-8830.
Special 2017 Summer Life Skills Program
Funded by Nebraska VR, HETRA’s 2017 Summer Life Skills program is in place to provide participants with disabilities the opportunity to continue their learning experience in an agricultural/equine specific environment while regularly scheduled school and school related activities are closed for the summer break. We are proud to offer both an 8 week and 3 week session for our participants. Our participants are busy, engaged, and working on skill set development in a wide variety of areas. For more information about HETRA’s Special 2017 Summer Life Skills Program, please call 402.359.8830.
Public Riding Lessons
HETRA also offers English and Western riding lessons to the general public. These lessons are very popular with our volunteers and the families of our participants.
Group tours of the barn
Speakers for events or meetings
Service learning hours
For more information on any of these services please contact us at (402) 359-8830.
HETRA’s Non-Discrimination Policy: HETRA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, age, or disability in admission to it’s programs, services, or activities, or in any aspect of their operations.