“Blake has been at Horsepower for about 14 years,” said Allen Henkel, whose son, Blake, takes riding classes at Horsepower.
Horsepower Therapeutic Learning Center has many different programs to help individuals of all ages, both with and without disabilities, to interact with and ride horses. Horsepower is particularly popular for its therapeutic horse riding sessions that focus on giving individuals with disabilities the chance to ride horses, while also expanding their intellectual and physical abilities.
According to Horsepower’s website, “Riders may play games on horseback, perform gymnastic movements on the back of a horse, learn dressage, or go for a trail ride. These activities are geared to improve and support the individual goals of the riders, their families and therapists.”
By riding horses, Blake is able to focus his attention and energy into the activity at hand. Blake has also been able to go on trail rides and learn more about the horses themselves. The various activities that riders participate in at Horsepower help push them towards the goals that they set along with their families.
After regularly attending riding sessions at Horsepower for so long, Blake knows that he can depend on riding horses as a form of therapy and learning.
“It’s good to have a good activity that he can do on a regular basis,” said Henkel, Blake’s father.
Riders such as Blake have improved their balance and coordination by being on a moving horse. Additionally, riders build up self-confidence while making friends with other riders that have similar abilities and ages as them.
Aside from all of this, riders simply enjoy being around horses. Blake has been able to see horses up close and learn about them in detail in his sessions.
“He really enjoys riding horses,” said Henkel. “He likes the different games that they play and activities that they do.”
In addition to everything that Horsepower’s programs do for the riders themselves, they also benefit the families of those riders. During riding sessions, parents get to sit down and watch their children ride horses. Spectating parents talk to each other about their experiences, or share advice and new opportunities that they know of. Outside of Horsepower, parents often share their experiences with other families who may benefit from riding sessions or whom they know would love to get a chance to volunteer with Horsepower.
“We have and do recommended Horsepower to other families,” said Henkel. “Absolutely.”
Horsepower has done more than let Blake ride a horse.
“Horsepower has definitely benefitted our entire family,” said Henkel. “It has helped Blake learn and grow.”