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Adaptive Horseback Riding

Adaptive horseback riding is an equine-assisted service that contributes positively to the physical, cognitive, social and emotional well-being of people with disabilities, and it provides a broad spectrum of support for children and adults with disabilities and hardship including Down syndrome, autism, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, cognitive and physical disabilities, attention deficit disorder, trauma and more. 

Physical benefits include improvement in joint mobility, balance and coordination, relaxation of spasticity, increased muscle tone, and improved eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills. Cognitive function is enhanced through improved communication and learning, concentration, and spatial awareness. Social and emotional growth is achieved through enhanced self-image and confidence, developing self-control skills, and motivation to set and achieve goals. Learning horseback riding skills can improve overall life skills and enhance each individual's overall quality of life. 

Lessons are conducted by PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors. The program serves individuals 5 years of age or older. 

Adaptive horseback riding is offered in 1 hour group lessons or 30-minute private lessons weekly. In addition to horseback riding, activities may include grooming, tacking, untacking, and equine care. Participant fees are $50 each group or private lesson and are offered in lesson session blocks ranging from 6 to 15 weeks throughout the year. Individuals are required to complete a Participant Application Package with a physician's referral for to participate in our adaptive horseback riding program. 

For more information, contact Sara Zurenko, Program Director:

Testimonial - Adaptive Riding Hallie.jpg

"Southern Reins has brought something new to my child's life this year: Confidence. Hallie has learned so many horsemanship and self-management skills that she can now do lessons "unclipped," and that has opened a new world in which she feels proud of herself. We are so lucky to be one of the many families served by this fantastic organization, and it is so reassuring to know that at Southern Reins Hallie is fully supported and understood." Rachel Gay, Hallie's mom

Participant Registration Information


All prospective participants must complete and submit a Participant Application Package that includes a participant profile, physician’s referral, hold harmless agreement, and more. Prospective participants must schedule a new participant evaluation prior to the start of their first adaptive riding session. All paperwork must be signed and submitted prior to the evaluation. 

Participants and/or parents, guardians, or caregivers will receive Southern Reins' Participant and Client Handbook that outlines our policies and procedures prior to the start of the session. Session fees are due two weeks prior to the start of each session. Southern Reins requires all participants to have a credit card on file that will be charged two weeks pror to the start of the session. Check and cash payments may be accepted if approved in advance by the Program Director. 


Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy is a Premier Accredited Center by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.). PATH Intl. premier accreditation assists the public in selecting quality centers that deliver safe equestrian services and certifies that a member organization has achieved industry standards for equine-assisted services for individuals with special needs. Southern Reins is the only Premier Accredited Center in the greater Memphis area and is one of only three in the state of Tennessee, joining the top tier of centers across the country who have received premier accredited status. 

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