Marion Therapeutic Riding Association (MTRA), Ocala, Florida
Location & Hours
The therapeutic benefits of the horse were recognized as early as 460 BC, and have continued to evolve over the centuries throughout Europe, the United States and Canada. Today, therapeutic riding therapy is a proven type of physical, emotional and mental therapy for children and adults.
Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the client's body in a manner similar to a human gait, clients with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, posture and muscle strength. It has also been proven to affect psychological, cognitive, behavioral and communication functions for clients of all ages. The special relationship formed between horse and client often leads to increased confidence, patience, self-esteem, independence and acceptance.
With the benefits so far reaching, MTRA follows an "adaptive equestrian experience" model which enables us to provide a full range of equine-assisted therapeutic programs, including riding therapy, carriage driving, trail courses, equine assisted psychotherapy, Special Olympics and more. This allows us to match client skills to the program best suited for them, while ensuring that we keep pace with the latest techniques to advance the progress of our students.
Our riding schedule typically runs 6 days a week, 9 months a year, with morning, afternoon and evening classes. Each lesson provides a combination of riding or carriage driving with ground time to strengthen the bond even deeper between horse and client. Our integrated riding approach enables clients to work with the same horse, the same volunteers and the same instructors for each 9-week period.
Whatever type of equine-assisted therapy clients choose, our goal is to help each client achieve their personal best in a warm, professional and consistent environment.