WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THERAPEUTIC RIDING ?
Adults and children with special needs often find themselves isolated and rejected. Weekly therapeutic riding lessons stimulate conversation and interaction with people and with one special horse. The instructor creates each lesson with equestrian objectives in mind but adapts them to better meet the specific needs of each individual, frequently with the collaboration of social services, educational and health care professionals.
The lives of people diagnosed with ADHD, PTSD, ODD, autism spectrum, depression and other psychological or cognitive disorders, are impacted on a daily basis. Therapeutic riding lessons, along with other traditional therapies, have been scientifically proven to provide lasting benefits such as lower stress levels and increased concentration. The physical contact with the horse, the rhythm of its movement, the concentration required to guide the horse and perform specific tasks all contribute to help a rider feel empowered, but also requires him / her to communicate with others and with a living animal that has behavioral and emotional needs of its own.
Living with a physical disability often limits a person’s opportunity to participate in sports. Those limitations are put aside for a moment while riding a horse. Riders get to experience freedom and independence as they ride a thousand-pound animal by themselves while towering over people on the ground. The movement of the horse engages the same muscles required in the human walk, thereby enhancing muscle tone, coordination and balance. Parkside Ranch is well stocked with a range of specialty equipment to make each client feel comfortable and safe, experiencing therapeutic riding lessons with dignity and pure joy.
THERAPEUTIC RIDING programs
- Programs for children / families / adults / elderly
- Collaboration with the local social services (CLSC, hospitals, Foundations)
- Services offered year round
- Substantial volunteer involvement
- Three CanTRA certified instructors on staff
The reality: first-hand response to Parkside’s therapeutic riding services as told by the families of clients and produced by La Fondation de l’Hôpital de Memphrémagog (www.fondationhopitalmagog.org).
WHY EXPAND THE PARKSIDE RANCH ”TURNING POINT” EQUESTRIAN CENTER ?
For over 50 years Parkside Ranch’s focus of sharing God’s love in practical ways and serving our community has evolved through a combination of traditional core camp activity enhancements and development of new initiatives. Over the past 10 years Parkside’s equestrian services, initially through a horse mentoring program, have drawn significant interest from local schools and social services organizations. Parkside’s role as a key contributor to meeting the needs the vulnerable members of our community has been validated by a letter of support from the Director and many of the social workers of the local social services organization (CLSC).
The growth in demand from the community for equestrian services has led Parkside Ranch to invest further in an expansion of the existing therapeutic riding indoor arena that was built in 2016, enabling us to enhance our contribution to the well-being of people in need. As a first step in response to that leading, three of our staff went through the 2-year process of becoming CanTRA (Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association) certified instructors and they received their certification in February 2020. With the planned expansion of our arena, we believe that the Parkside’s equestrian center, known as “Turning Point”, will become a hub in our community in delivering programs to help meet the challenges facing a wide cross section of our society. Turning Point’s therapeutic riding programs can be instrumental in helping people deal with mental, physical and emotional health challenges, as we share the love of God in a very practical way.
There are a number of factors that uniquely position Parkside Ranch to make a real difference in the holistic well-being of our community, including:
- Our well-established reputation within the community that we genuinely care for the people we serve and interact with, and that we are respectful of the broad range of our clients’ and campers’ backgrounds, beliefs and cultures.
- Our programs have over the years had a significant measurable impact on people’s lives.
- The development of our therapeutic riding program has excellent synergies with Parkside’s other traditional areas of community service and engagement.
- There is very good base of volunteers in our area with equestrian knowledge and expertise.
TODAY: PARKSIDE RANCH INDOOR ARENA
THE VISION FOR TOMORROW: TURNING POINT EQUESTRIAN CENTER
MISSION & VISION
Turning Point Equestrian Center
The vision behind the development of Parkside Ranch’s Turning Point equestrian centre is to help provide healing and purpose to vulnerable members of our community, as a practical expression of God’s love. The therapeutic riding programs of the equestrian center will operate concurrently with but independently of Parkside Ranch’s traditional camping and event centre programming.
The Turning Point’s therapeutic riding programs are designed to holistically provide physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health benefits, working in partnership with community health and social services leaders. Our focus is on helping build a solid foundation for a healthy family unit, offering programs that meet the needs of vulnerable children, parents and grandparents. A healthy society is built on a healthy family unit.
Program Initiatives To Deliver the Vision:
Short to Medium Term, Based on Construction of the Equestrian Centre (2023-24):
- Expansion of Turning Point’s year-round therapeutic riding services capacity and service quality capabilities, in response to the growing needs of the community and local social services organization.
- Development of physical rehabilitation programming through hippotherapy.
- Development of therapeutic riding programs specifically tailored for the elderly.
Longer Term (2024 and beyond):
- Provide internship programs of 6 / 12 / 18 months, offering candidates interested in equestrian-based community services the opportunity to be trained and certified in therapeutic riding.
- Develop and deliver leadership training and team building programs for youth.
- Provide a respite care resource for families with special needs children.
- Develop an alternative education center for children with learning difficulties, working with local social services and educational resources.
Orford (QC) : Convenient access to major population centres and highways at the foot of Mont Orford, surrounded by beautiful natural forest and lakes.
With a focus on the convenience and comfort of our Therapeutic Riding clients, the Turning Point therapeutic riding equestrian center offers an efficient fully accessible layout. From the single level entry into reception and circulation throughout the main facility and arena, to the lift access to the second level, client well‐being is always top‐of‐mind.
GROUND FLOOR PLAN
Designed For Both Horse and Rider
The brightly lit heated Turning Point arena features an abundance of natural light, natural wood wall paneling and natural sand footing.
The result: optimized horse and rider comfort and maximum flexibility in Therapeutic Riding program configuration to meet the full range of our clients’ individual needs.
Ambiance – Equine Style!
A secure, healthy and stress‐free living environment for the Turning Point’s horses is key to their performance in supporting our clients’ Therapeutic Riding needs. The Turning Point stable configuration optimizes both horse care and access by staff, clients and boarders.
The horse shower stalls are designed to provide a well‐lit, safe and secure environment for our staff and guests to provide horse care.
Security, equipment maintenance efficiency and ease of access are ensured by the design and furnishing of the Turning Point tack rooms.
A Warm Turning Point Welcome!
Clients and guests are welcomed by a bright and airy reception area leading directly into the main Turning Point training center or horse stable, including a conveniently located accessible washroom and lift access to the stable level.
Enjoy a peaceful moment in the warm intimate reception sitting area.
Not all Turning Point learning happens in the arena or while mounted on a horse!
Modern fully featured multi‐media training rooms ensure distraction‐free training flexibility for clients, client families and staff.
In addition to the classroom‐style learning facility, the Turning Point offers a meeting environment ideally suited to more formal program, therapy and strategic planning sessions.