Therapeutic riding combines instruction in traditional horsemanship skills with concepts of physical therapy to improve strength, balance and self-esteem. To an individual with a disability, at risk youth, or veteran, horseback riding takes them into a new, unexplored work, which provides a sense of independence and freedom. With therapeutic riding comes improved coordination, muscle strength, joint mobility, perceptual skills and self confidence. The opportunity to work with a horse, to groom and help saddle it are very real sources of excitement and pride. Moreover, each step a horse takes requires the riders to use their muscles to maintain balance and their minds to work to guide the horse.
Almost every person can benefit from therapeutic riding. Major benefits have been seen of the riders with cerebral palsy, mental delays, autism, PTSD, anxiety, brain injury, stroke, learning disorders and emotional trauma. The natural affinity between people and animals has proven a powerful way of enabling our riders to achieve their full potential and the unconditional love and friendship offered by our horses is a great benefit to all. At Nestldown Therapeutic Riding Center, we welcome anyone who is interested in the strong relationship between the individual and horses.
Nestldown Therapeutic Riding Center is a non-profit 501(c)3 founded in 2006. In our first year of operation we provided therapeutic riding lessons to ten students between the ages of 8-18 years old. Due to limited resources, we paused operations in 2009. Over the past few years we have been working to secure a location and re-open the riding center. As of April 2018 we are extremely happy to be providing riding lessons and serve the community once again. We currently have twelve horses and one miniature donkey in our care. Our two instructors provide lessons for 20 individuals throughout the week.
Alexandra Beck Founder, Executive Director
“Starting the riding center has been a dream come true. I have experienced first hand the unconditional love and understanding of horses since I was young and wanted to share that with others. I have a background in education and really enjoy working with our young students who are just starting to gain confidence in themselves. I learned about equine therapy in high school when I first volunteered for the riding center and after attending Boston University and teaching for a few years, I knew it was time to re-open our barn doors.”
Madison Tomlin Barn Manager, Lead Instructor
“I have been working with and training horses since I was a teenager and started teaching lessons about three years ago. I have always wanted to help rescue and rehabilitate horses while helping them find a new love and purpose. In that process, I got to work with wonderful supporters and students who helped my growing herd. I have recently moved my two horses up to the riding center and they love it. I truly enjoy helping our riding students gain a better understanding of horses and themselves and I hope we can rescue more horses in the future.”
Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Volunteer Coordinator
Kristy holds the vision and passion for Divine Equine. She has had a fascination and affinity for horses most of her life. Kristy is a sought-after therapeutic riding instructor who easily balances fun and learning. She began working with children right out of high school while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from San Jose State University. Kristy is a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor, and currently works with children and adults with functional diversity, teaching them how to ride using adaptive techniques. This is her life’s work and she wants to share it with everyone who comes through the barn doors!
Some photos of our horses!