The Concept

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. Depending on the goals of the individual riding students, the instructor may also involve educators or medical professionals to give input to the lesson plan.

The Benefit

  • Balance
  • Muscle Strength and tone
  • Physical Endurance
  • Range of Motion
  • Circulation
  • Respiration
  • Sensorimotor Integration
  • Confidence
  • Concentration and Attention Span
  • Motivation
  • Human-animal Bonding
  • Social Skill

Our Mission

The mission of Upward Transitions is to enhance the lives of people with physical, emotional and mental challenges through horse-related programs and a dedicated community. Upward Transitions’ center will be a positive, safe environment allowing those in need to escape their normal daily challenges with the goal of allowing them to become more independent. The goal is to provide the environment and program that allows the rider to achieve a maximum independence their circumstances will allow. Not only are there many miracle type stories of medical benefits but the freedom felt by sitting on top of their horse and leaving the confines of their disability behind is what Upward Transitions is excited to deliver. For individuals with mental or emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self esteem.

Who we serve

Upward Transitions serves Bandera, Bexar, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr and Medina counties. We serve individuals with challenges, special needs school classes, wounded warriors including any veteran with a disability, juvenile justice systems, and at risk youth from a variety of organizations. The following list includes but is not limited to the types of mental, physical and social challenges therapeutic riding can address.
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Arthritis
  • Arthrogryposis
  • Cerebrovascular Accidents
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Dwarfism
  • Down Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
  • Fragile X Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Frederick’s Ataxia
  • Hunters Syndrome
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Prader Willie Syndrome
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Sensory Integration Issues
  • Spina Bifida
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Tourette Syndrome
  • Traumatic Head Insures
  • Williams Syndrome
  • Visual Impairments