Meet Our Horses

Our horse partners are selected for their quiet, calm disposition, and willingness to adapt with each individual participant.  Each of our horse partners are special – their hoof beats often go unnoticed, but their imprint is significant.

image: young boy brushing and connection with NDR horse, Luke
image: Young girl NDR participant laying her head on the back of a horse

Why horses?

NDR Horses Are the Heart of Our Program

Research shows that individuals who participate in equine-assisted activities can experience physical, behavioral, cognitive, emotional, linguistic, sensory and social benefits. Observing, interacting, and working with horses not only engages individuals, but can also help them learn about themselves and their environment. Experiential learning has more carry over and gives ability to generalize the use of skills learned.

The horse’s movement is multidimensional which is variable, rhythmic, and repetitive. The horse’s gait mimics the natural movement of the human pelvis during walking. When a horse is asked to change direction, modulate speed and make gait transitions, riders are continually adjusting their position to accommodate the movements. These adjustments help to strengthen core muscles and posture. The positive effects of the horse’s movement on posture control, sensory systems, and motor planning, also benefit sensory integration, attention, fine and gross motor skills.

One does not have to ride to achieve benefits from equine-assisted activities. Interacting with the horse by learning to groom and exercise by leading the horse can be calming and relaxing. Touching, petting or even getting a hug can be the motivation for learning new skills, experience independence, and increasing confidence.

Benefits of Using Horses

Horses help participants to learn about themselves without judgement or bias. They are wonderful role models for surveying environmental clues in real-time, reacting appropriately, and recover quickly to a calm state.

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Horses are wonderfully adaptive for experiential learning

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Horses can help to build trust

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Horses are pros at reading and reacting to clues from their surroundings

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Horses act as a natural biofeedback machine during human interaction

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Horses can help to build lasting connections

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Horses can help to build self-awareness

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Our Horse Partners

NDR Has a Team of Amazing Equine Partners

Our horse partners are selected for their quiet, calm disposition, willingness and ability to adapt with each individual participant.  Each of our horse partners are special and help to create a horse-human bond that cannot be mimicked any other way. NDR’s certified instructors work hard to train, exercise, and maintain the wellbeing of all of our horses so that they can help participants achieve optimal outcomes. Whether it is therapeutic adaptive riding, Horses In the Moment or other equine-assisted activities, our horses fit the bill and bring a unique experience to all participants and families/caregivers involved.

Meet Our Amazing Horses

Check out NDR’s most valuable employees!

Sunny

Meet Our Sunny Boy

Sunny is a Palomino Paint gelding. Sunny is very curious, social and enjoys turnouts with the other horses. Sunny is very sweet, calm and loves attention.

Norman

Meet Our Fabulous "Fabio"

Norman is a Haflinger gelding. He is smart, quiet, steady and very helpful in starting participant-rider in beginning lessons all the way through being an independent rider. Norman is a flashy gelding and loves to pose for photos. His mane is thick, long and beautiful, so much so, his nickname is “Fabio”.

Holly

Meet NDR's Princess

Holly, is a Haflinger mare. A breed of short, sturdy horses originally from Austria and Italy that are held in high esteem for therapeutic riding. Holly (also given the nickname “Princess”) is calm, sweet. She has a way to nuzzle students that encourages the learning experience.

Fiona

Meet Fiona, the "Apple of Our Eye"!

Fiona is a Haflinger mare. Fiona is nosy, interested to participate and wants to please. Fiona pulled an apple cart in her past. Fiona looks forward to eating her food and treats.

Luke

Meet Our Line Dancing Miniature Horse

Luke is a former show horse. He has earned the distinguished award of “Reserve Grand Champion". He is our “parade and event” star! He loves to be around people, been known to line dance, and loves to be led around and groomed.

Vegas

Meet the "Card" of Our Herd

Vegas is a black and white paint mare who has unique "card suit" markings and loves attention. Special thanks to her owners for allowing NDR Therapeutic Riding to use her in our programs

Peaches

Meet Our "Peach" of a Girl

Peaches is a paint pony with one blue and one brown eye. Peaches has a large personality in spite of her small size. Special thanks to her owners for allowing NDR Therapeutic to use her in our programs.

Flora

Meet Our Fabulous Flora

Fabulous "Flora" is an American Quarter Horse. Her color is Chestnut. Flora is sweet, gentle & loves her treats.  Trained as a Reining horse but now enjoys her life here at NDR.

Imagine being able to make a difference in the lives of our horses.

We would be happy to discuss what supporting our horses looks like. It could vary from helping with boarding costs, shoeing, veterinary services and more! Call us at (951) 734-9056 or donate now by clicking the button to the right. 

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