About Jamestown New Horizons

Jamestown New Horizons provides therapeutic riding for children with disabilities in the St. Louis metropolitan area. Toddlers to teenagers with a wide range of disabilities have great fun while receiving therapy. The best part of all: It doesn't seem like therapy!

"I'm a buckaroo!" This statement was spoken softly, yet with conviction, by a young rider with cerebral palsy at Jamestown New Horizons. Jubilee, the black Shetland pony that he rides, gives him a sense of freedom and empowerment that few other activities afford. Jubilee is his great equalizer and his perception of his limitations and capabilities will never be the same.

"The outside of a horse is good for the inside of man." ~Xenophon

What is Therapeutic Riding?

Therapeutic riding has been around for Centuries – since the time of the Greeks and Romans. The organization of riding centers for people with disabilities started in Europe and Great Britain after World War II. Victims of the war were helped greatly – physically, mentally and emotionally – by riding horses. Therapeutic riding was introduced in the United States in 1968.

Every step that the horse takes challenges the rider's balance and posture with infinite variation. Each movement is unique because the horse's strides vary with the surface of the ground and the length of its stride. This infinite variation of movement simply cannot be duplicated with machines or other therapeutic equipment.

What are the Benefits?

The horse rhythmically and naturally moves the rider's body in a manner similar to the human gait, improving posture, balance and muscle tone. To a person who can't walk, riding feels like walking. Joints are exercised, stiffness is decreased and coordination improves gradually as the rider progresses in skills.

The up and down, side to side, back and forth movement that comes from the horse's back as it walks sends rotational movements through the rider's pelvis and spine, exercising and strengthening the core muscles. The increased muscle strength and the mobilization of joints allow the rider to sit and stand more upright, resulting in improved posture and balance.