4-H TRP of Carroll County offers a one-hour lesson of 4 to 6
riders, similar in age or ability, that focuses on individual
riding skills while gaining a therapeutic benefit. These benefits
include improving muscle tone and strength, improving hand/eye
coordination and balance, improving peer interaction and communication,
increasing self-esteem, and developing a sense of control. Ten-week
sessions are held each fall and spring. Each session seats 45-50
riders using 7 horses, assisted by 50 volunteers. Volunteers accrue
more than 1300 hours of service during each session.
At the beginning of each session Instructors establish goals for each rider, working with the rider, parents or guardian. They create a wide variety of activities and exercises designed to increase the student's ability to listen, learn, and communicate.
Riders work on their horsemanship skills and willingness to try new things. Students may be taught how to help groom and tack their horses. Classes include arena riding, trail rides, and group activities.
For some riders this is their competitive sport of choice. They strive to compete at the local, national, and international levels in equestrian sports. 4-H TRP riders regularly compete in horse shows at Freedom Hills, Thorncroft, Devon, Special Olympics, and Maryland Challenged Equestrian Trials.