Programs – Adaptive Horsemanship
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Program #4: Adaptive Horsemanship
OASIS Horsemanship Program began in the Summer of 2011, partnering with Coleman Farm, Honeoye, NY. The goal for this program is to provide an environment where the Veteran can have a safe and fun time with horses. Through this course, the Veteran learns and understands sound riding and horse management skills. Horsemanship is a combination of learning how to ride a horse and what is involved in taking care of a horse. The outcome goals for this program are similar to the independence goals previously described (see PROGRAMS-What We Do section).

Lessons will run for approximately 1 hour but will vary according to each participant’s needs, abilities, and physical condition. Each session will include both dismounted and mounted instruction. There is a weight limit of 200 lbs. for riding the horses.

Coleman Farm, 4690 White Rd. in Livonia/Honeoye. This is a small farm owned by a couple with many years of teaching horsemanship and riding. There are several excellent lesson horses appropriate for beginners. Participants have the opportunity to experience riding on trails as soon as they are comfortable. This facility does not have the capacity to handle the more physically challenged Veterans; however, they have worked successfully with disabilities such as MS as long as the individual can stand well enough to mount a horse. As there is no indoor arena, weather is a major determining factor for when lessons can be scheduled. In general, the program will start as soon as weather conditions allow, usually the end of April or the first of May and run over the next few months for a total of 12 lessons.

Goals and expectations for this program are as follows:
  • Participants will become comfortable handling a gentle horse
  • Learn safety rules that apply to all areas of working with horses both dismounted and mounted
  • Learn how to put on a halter and lead
  • Learn basic grooming skills including cleaning feet
  • Learn how to tack/untack the horse as well as basic tack care
  • Learn how to mount and adjust stirrups with help as needed
  • Be able to walk maintaining a correct position and when comfortable, trot, maintaining balance and a correct position.
  • The participants will be asked to state their goals after the 3 or 4th lesson