WARRINGTON, Pa. — Special Equestrians is proud to announce the launch of a new program for children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. “We successfully completed a pilot of this program and were so pleased with the results that we are opening the group to our currently enrolled riders.” Deb Saffern, one of the Occupational Therapists who works at Special Equestrians attributes the groups success to “the social interaction between the children, the one-on-one attention each child receives, along with the repetition of activities, and the variety of activities.”

The multi-sensory components of this group include therapeutic horseback riding, life skills exercises, communication games, use of our sensory trail, and writing with the Handwriting without Tears(R) method.

Anne Reynolds, Program Director offered her observation on the programs success: “Each lesson plan has the ability to complement the fundamental work we already do with riders on the autism spectrum. Our therapeutic riding students are able to benefit from the varied sensory input they receive from the horse, the spatial experience as they move on the horse’s back, and the communication they impart to the horse in giving directions.”

The goals of the program are to improve basic life skills, and enhance the ability to improve academics. The group runs for one hour in length. Half an hour is mounted, and half an hour is spent working with our occupational therapists. A parent of one of our students, Joe O’Hara found the most valuable aspects of the program were the social aspect, and helping his son focus on a task while improving his fine and gross motor skills. “The fact that he comes here and works on things that are very hard for him and he enjoys it is a reward in itself.”

If you are interested in learning more about the services Special Equestrians offers you can visit our website at or call our office at 215-918-1001. Special Equestrians has been in operation for 26 years, offering hope one rider at a time.

About Special Equestrians

Special Equestrians, a Forbes Enterprise Award winner, is a 501(c)3 non-profit therapeutic riding program located at 2800 Street Road in Warrington, Pennsylvania. Our mission is to improve the physical, mental, and emotional well being of individuals with disabilities through the equine experience. Founded in 1982 Special Equestrians has grown from a one horse, one rider, one volunteer program to a thriving organization with 9 horses, 17 staff members, and over 100 volunteers serving 125 children and adults with emotional, mental and physical disabilities each year. For more information please call 215-918-1001, or visit our website at

[tags]children with autism, therapy horse rides[/tags]