Silverwood Farm has been host to the Fredericton Therapeutic Riding Association since 1998. The farm’s older and well schooled lesson horses are used in the weekly rides. These horses are gentle and wise and themselves have found a venue to keep them young at heart. We are very happy to be able to help provide a service in our community that benefits everyone involved.

Fredericton Therapeutic Riding Association

Therapeutic Riding is a form of therapy using horses to help persons with disabilities ranging from physical through learning and even emotional disabilities. Many riders experience a connection to the horse that few sports can create.

For those riders who cannot walk, the horse is their feet, their
Vehicle of transport. Not only does this help raise their self-esteem but it also teaches them essential skills. It improves balance, creates trust and creates a friendship between rider and horse. History records people with disabilities riding horses as early as the days of the ancient Greeks. Even then, riding was seen as a way of improving the health and well being of people with disabilities as well as being a mode of transportation. Hippocrates mentioned "riding's healing rhythm" by which he meant its harmonious emotional effects as well as the purely physical benefits (Dossenback 1983). During WW1, England recognized riding for the disabled as a beneficial form of therapy and offered riding for wounded soldiers at the Oxford Hospital.

In 1952, Liz Hartel of Denmark won a silver medal for dressage at the 1952 Helinski Olympic Games. She did this despite the fact that she had paralysis from polio. This proved to be the turning point for therapeutic riding and organized centres started to develop throughout England and Europe. In the 1960's therapeutic riding centres started to spring up in North America. The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) formed in 1969 and had 4 operating centres --- today they have more than 500 member centres. The CanadianTherapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) was formed in 1980 and now Has about 100 member centres. In the Atlantic Provinces there are programs in St.John's, NF; Charlottetown, PEI; Halifax, NS; and Moncton, Miramichi, Fredericton and Saint John, NB. The Fredericton Therapeutic Riding Association (FTRA) was formed in 1980.

FTRA currently rides out of Silverwood Arabians Stable and has 8 riders with 7 riders on a waiting list. FTRA offers a subsidized program with an instructor trained in therapeutic horseback riding. FTRA offers a safe and fun environment for riders to learn horseback riding and experience its many benefits. FTRA is always looking for volunteers, especially those who are experienced horse people. Volunteers are used as horse leaders or sidewalkers. Each rider starts with 3 volunteers - one to lead the horse and two sidewalkers. As the rider becomes more proficient the sidewalkers may be taken away and some riders may progress to riding totally independent.

For more information please call Ruth Carter at 455-0510.