at the Cori Sikich Therapeutic Riding Center
WHERE HORSE POWER CHANGES LIVES
Dream Catchers at the Cori Sikich Therapeutic Riding Center delivers weekly equine-assisted therapeutic interventions to people living with disabilities, at-risk youth, seniors, and veterans. The organization was founded by nurses in 1993 to serve children with special needs. Over the decades, the scope and diversity of our programs has expanded to include therapeutic riding, horsemanship, Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy (EFP), and Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) for people of all ages and abilities.
Lessons are facilitated by certified professionals to inspire emotional, cognitive, physical, and social growth through interactions with horses. The horses selected to be part of the team undergo a rigorous trial period during which they are evaluated for suitability as therapy horses, including physical, mental, and emotional fitness. Currently, Dream Catchers is home to 19 horses and ponies, allowing us to meet the needs of all of our participants, from young children to athletic active military.
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Extensive research has shown the numerous benefits of therapeutic horseback riding. Time in the saddle can complement services provided by physical and occupational therapists, counselors, medical and behavioral clinics, and disability-supporting agencies. According to the Michigan State University extension office, in an article explaining the science behind equine assisted services, “The movement and unique walking gait of a horse or pony most closely resembles that of a human. Therefore, when a person is riding a horse, the rhythm and motion is therapeutic; the body gains strength through its adjustment to the horse’s gait.”
Similar studies indicate beneficial outcomes of EFP and EAL; through their sentient nature, horses encourage calm, steady, and patient participation and foster confidence, independence, and strength.
How You Can Help
Every day, Dream Catchers delivers hope and healing through life-changing interactions with our herd of remarkable therapy horses. To support the “horse power” of Dream Catchers, consider sponsoring a therapy horse, attending one of our events, or becoming a volunteer.