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Therapeutic Riding as a Means of Teaching Job Skills

This post is by Serena Selkin, Grants Manager for Family Services, and John Taylor, Database Coordinator for Family Services.

In 2010, Autism Speaks funded a program at Gallop NYC entitled “Therapeutic Riding as a Means of Teaching Job Skills: A Comprehensive Horsemanship and Transitional Life Skills Curriculum for Young Adults on the Autism Spectrum.” Gallop NYC developed an educational program using the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding to assist young adults with autism transitioning to the work environment, including a comprehensive horsemanship and transitional life skills curriculum. The young adults work with young children with autism who learn how to ride horses. 

A GallopNYC therapeutic riding lesson challenges the rider physically, cognitively and emotionally. A typical 30 minute lesson includes mounting, warm‐up, reviewing previous lesson, introducing a new skill, game or activity, cool down, review lessons learned, dismount, and bond with the horse. The predictability of the components of the lesson is intentional and helps the riders relax thereby allowing them to focus on practicing old skills, embracing new skills and having fun!

This week, Serena Selkin, Grants Manager and John Taylor, Database Coordinator, went to visit the program in Queens, NY. We had a wonderful time, seeing the kids on the horses, and the interns walking alongside them in the ring.

For more information on Autism Speaks Community Service Grants, please visit http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/grants/community-grants . For more information on Gallop NYC, please visit http://www.gallopnyc.org/ .