Riverwood provides quality, professional equine assisted activities and farm-based learning opportunities for both children and adults with special needs.
Facilitate healing, acceptance and growth for those with special needs through a partnership with equines and the natural world.
Equine assisted activities help to improve muscle tone, balance, posture, coordination and motor development as well as emotional well being. Founded in 1995, Riverwood is a 501 (c)(3) charitable corporation serving 120 individuals weekly. We are a PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) Premier Accredited center with nationally certified instructors. Riverwood is located among 53 acres in Tobaccoville, NC and serves Forsyth, Yadkin, Stokes, Surry and Davie Counties.
The Riverwood Barn was completed in 2002 and houses a 60’ by 120’ indoor arena for year round activities. It also includes a classroom with observation window, an office, 5 horse stalls, feed room and tack room.
Riverwood Offers Several Programs:
Therapeutic Riding offers goal directed activities including riding skills, exercises, games, stable management and trail riding.
EFL – Equine Facilitated Learning and Therapeutic Horsemanship are activities in which participants can build confidence and self-awareness. This type of equine interaction focuses on developing a relationship with our horses.
MEO – Riverwood’s Mobile Education and Outreach program allows us to provide programs to those who are unable to visit the farm and travel to community events in order to raise awareness of our services and their unique benefits.
Traditional Able-bodied lessons are offered at specific times throughout the year for volunteers, siblings, parents and the community.
Benefits of Equine-Assisted Activities for Children with Special Needs:
- Children who find it hard to speak are taught to use their own words to command the horse on what to do. They learn to use the right words to call the horse including mentioning the horse’s name, which improves their overall confidence and helps to develop speech.
- The interaction between child and horse serves as an essential tool for improving the child’s social skills with respect to others.
- Riding a horse and other equine-assisted activities turn disability into an ABILITY.
- The natural environment of the farm, the horse’s physical movement and the emotional bond between horse and human cannot be simulated by any machine or device in a clinical environment.