The mission of Upward Transitions is to enhance the lives of people with physical, emotional and/or mental challenges through horse-related programs and the dedication of our community. The goal of Upward Transitions is to provide a safe, positive environment, allowing participants to become more self-sufficient and enrich their daily lives. Upward Transitions provides independence to participants by enabling them to feel the freedom of sitting on top of a horse and leaving the confines of their disability behind. For individuals with mental or emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed between a rider and horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. The therapeutic environment that horses provide cannot be duplicated in a clinical setting and as a result every rider benefits from their accepting and trusting interaction.
In therapeutic riding the lessons are developed around equestrian skill development and progression. Learning to ride is the objective. While learning to ride may be the objective, in the process of learning to ride comes the therapeutic value. The long term goals may be physical, psychological, educational, cognitive, skill and/or recreational based. Therapeutic Riding Instructors are the primary professionals responsible for the design and implementation of the therapeutic riding session. The lessons can be taught privately, semi-privately or in groups of 3-6 students. The instructors will enlist the help of volunteers to aid the riders during lessons. These assistants may be horse leaders, side walkers or communicators. The instructor may request lesson plan involvement of educators or medical professionals to help the riders achieve their individual goals.
First used in Greece in the 5th century to rehab wounded soldiers, horseback riding or equitherapy has grown over the decades and spread across the ocean to the Americas. During World War I it was used again to treat wounded soldiers. From soldiers to modern day Olympians, the therapy eventually came to the US in 1969 where it is still used for Wounded Warriors, as well as children and adults with challenges. There are over 600 accredited equitherapy centers in the US today.
Benefits include but are not limited to:
Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors integrate horseback riding skills into lesson plans designed to enhance the physical, cognitive and emotional wellbeing of the riders. Lessons are individually designed to suit each rider’s particular need, ability,
stamina, and are consistent with predetermined goals that are established in conjunction with parents, therapeutic riding instructors, caregivers, physicians and other therapists.
Therapeutic Riding Instructors use equinebased therapy for active duty service members and veterans who have returned with physical and mental challenges as a result of their service. The goal of this program is to improve the lives of servicemen an women who have suffered injury in the line of duty, helping them adjust physically and emotionally to their postwar lives.LEARN MORE
The equine is a critically important, sentient partner in a four part team consisting of the equine, a mental health professional or educator, an equine specialist and the client. The participants or clients in equine facilitated learning or equine facilitated psychotherapy may include at risk youth, victims of violence, veterans returning from war with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), people with many other mental health challenges and people seeking to improve their communication, leadership and team building skills.LEARN MORE
Please check back as we add future programs to our siteLEARN MORE
Please fill out the rider registration form or call Barbara Taylor, instructor and Program Director at 972-977-3833
Please fill out the volunteer registration form and text or call Denise Reding at 210-867-1188
Upward Transitions depends on your contributions to keep our stables open. Please donate today to help fund our equestrian therapy programs
• Weight less than 200 pounds in order to be safely dismounted in an emergency. • Must have sitting balance (side walkers can’t be asked to support the weight of the rider) • If minimum sitting balance, must weight around 40 pounds or less • Must be a minimum of 4 years old • Must have a disability that is compatible with therapeutic horsemanship