Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity that provides individuals, with special needs, a unique opportunity to improve their mental, emotional, physical, and developmental abilities.  By interacting with a horse, an individual gains confidence, learns new skills, begins to interact socially, and establishes a bond with their matched horse.  The movement of the horse itself is therapeutic by nature in that it mimics the human pelvis while walking.  This is repetitive and rhythmic.  Horses are also very hyperaware of their surroundings, making them ideal companions to individuals that are very sensitive to their surroundings, as well.

Therapeutic riding can benefit individuals with many different needs, including: Autism, Frontal Lobe Disorder, Down Syndrome, Deaf, Blind, Cognitive, Social, Behavioral, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD, Social Anxiety, Speech, and many others.   Many individuals have multiple needs that can be addressed.

We offer 45-minute therapeutic riding sessions in small group settings of 5 or less, to individuals age 5-adult. Call or email for an evaluation.  All sessions are taught by a PATH certified instructor.  (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Int’l).  Our instructors also maintain CPR and First Aid certifications, along with continuing education each year to stay current.  We provide trained horse leaders and two sidewalkers to maximize each rider’s success.  

Our goal is to teach horsemanship and help improve a variety of life skills in a fun, safe, and interactive environment.   



  • Improved Balance

  • Increased Muscle Tone

  • Increased Vocalization

  • Emotional Stability

  • Sensory Integration

  • Coordination           

  • Problem Solving Skills

  • Increased Range of Motion

  • Improved Risk Taking

  • Improved Attention

  • Improvement of Spastic or Tight Muscles

  • Reduction of Abnormal Movement Patterns

  • Increased Interest in Outside World

  • Patience

  • Flexibility

  • Self Esteem


How to Get Started?

All individuals will need to go through an evaluation process that begins by completing the Online Application.  After we receive your application, we will contact you to schedule an on-site evaluation with our staff and a horse.  This will help us ensure that we can safely accommodate your needs in our program, determine your goals, and select the appropriate team of volunteers to help you on your journey.  

Each individual will also need a Medical Form filled out annually by the healthcare professional to enter the program.



Are There Volunteer Opportunities?

At MREC, we offer a variety of volunteer opportunities to our volunteers.  Give just a few hours a week!


Jr Volunteer:  Instructor Helpers, assist in arena set up, clean and organize toys, helmets, staging area


Sidewalker Level 1 Volunteer:  Offer support of rider, build a rapport, aid in activities, can assist in barn chores outside stalls

Sidewalker Level 2 Volunteer:  Offer mounting block assistance, lead conversation, mentor new side walker. (must have experience)

Barn Helper Volunteer:  May help groom horses, tack horses, barn chores, practice horse leading, practice exercising horses, retrieve and return horses to stalls and pastures (must have horse experience)

Horse Leader Volunteer:  Lead horse in class, lunge horses, warm up horses, tack and groom horses, return horses to stalls and pastures (must have horse experience)



Please fill out both forms.





Begin by marking your calendars and filling out the Volunteer Packet today!

Have Questions? Please contact us!

© 2021 by Misty River Equestrian Center. Proudly created with

(816) 220-2332

East Independence, MO 64057

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