The therapeutic riding program at Furnace Brook Farm is rooted in the belief that all riders - regardless of cognitive, physical, emotional or social challenges - deserve the opportunity to experience the empathy and healing qualities of spending time with a horse.
Equine-assisted therapeutic activities offer an experiential approach that may include a variety of activities with the horse such as grooming, feeding, walking, equine games and riding. Horses offer a non-judgmental and empathetic presence. In partnership with therapeutic riding instructors and (where applicable) clinicians, horses can foster trust building, insight, growth and confidence for the rider.
FBF offers three options for equine therapeutic services: therapeutic riding lessons, equine-assisted mental health services, and hippotherapy.
FBF therapeutic riding instructors are certified by PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) and have the education and experience to foster a safe, secure, and enjoyable experience for riders. In addition to PATH credentialed instructors, we work with a licensed occupational therapist and a licensed certified social worker.
Therapeutic Riding Lessons
In therapeutic riding lessons, students are taught how to ride and, in the process, receive the physical and emotional benefits of riding a horse. If inclement weather occurs, students may have a ground lesson to work on their horsemanship skills such as grooming and tacking up their horse. FBF has a newly built ramp to assist our students with physical challenges.
Therapeutic riding lessons are offered in private half hour sessions for $50 or in group sessions for 45 minutes for $50. Lessons are held Monday through Saturday with three certified instructors to meet your scheduling needs. The majority of lessons are private but FBF is hoping to expand its group lessons to encourage more peer interaction with our students.
Our certified instructors work hard to create individualized lesson plans to meet the goals of our students. Each spring FBF holds a horse show for all of our participants to showcase their riding skills.
Equine Assisted Mental Health Sessions
Equine assisted mental health sessions combine the expertise of a PATH Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) who is also a Massachusetts licensed riding instructor, along with the healing presence of a horse.
The inclusion of horses in the therapeutic process can help to facilitate both mental and emotional growth. Emerging research supports the inclusion of equines to help build confidence, trust and empathy, problem solving skills, impulse control, social skills, and emotional awareness within clients.
Sessions at FBF are typically one hour in length and include ground work (interacting with the horse by grooming, feeding, walking) and riding time.
Horses may mirror the emotional state of a person. This provides an opportunity for clients to maintain self awareness, feel safe and process what’s happening in the moment. The validation that horses provide can be particularly helpful when processing past experiences or emotional challenges.
Hippotherapy at Furnace Brook Farm involves our licensed occupational therapist incorporating the rhythmical multidimensional movement of specially trained horses paired with a variety of therapeutic activities as a treatment strategy to address a wide range of challenges in children.
The occupational therapist works with PATH credentialed instructors, invaluable volunteers, and amazing equines to provide a safe, fun and productive treatment session.
Goals that can be addressed through a hippotherapy session include improving: balance and coordination, strength and endurance, postural control and stability, flexibility and range of motion, attention and organization, arousal and self-regulation, motor planning and body/spatial awareness, fine motor and gross motor skills, visual perceptual skills, as well as empowerment and self-confidence.
If You Are Currently Enrolled at FBF and Need to Complete Your Registration Forms
Please do not complete forms unless you are currently enrolled in an FBF program or if you have been contacted directly by a member of the FBF staff to confirm your participation. To complete the forms, choose either option below to register. Forms include: (1) General Information (Note: In the "Goals" section of the form, please note which service in which you would like to enroll.), (2) Health History, (3) Authorization for Emergency Medical Treatment, (4) Photo & Publicity Release, and (5) Liability Release. You may choose to return your forms online OR to print the forms out, complete them, and mail (or bring them to) Furnace Brook Farm.
We encourage riders to investigate scholarships that may be available to support participation in therapeutic riding or equine assisted mental health programs.
Therapeutic Riding Lesson: $50 per half-hour private lesson or 45 minute group session.
Equine Assisted Mental Health Session: $100 per one hour or $50 per half-hour session with a PATH Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) who is also a Massachusetts licensed riding instructor along with the healing presence of a horse.
Hippotherapy: $100 per 45 minute session. FBF does not accept insurance, however we encourage clients to contact their provider as many insurance companies will reimburse for paid hippotherapy services.
Our programs are growing, welcoming new riders and gaining recognition as a South Shore therapeutic riding center.
Please Note: We are currently unable to accept new participants into our program as we are full to capacity. If you would like to learn more about joining our waitlist, please click here.