Dream Riders   156 Sandy Hill Rd.   Lexington, SC   29072             Phone  (803) 957-7906             Email  dreamr2@mindspring.com 501-C-3   Tax Deductable Charity       EIN 57-1079606 Registered with the South Carolina Secretary of State   since 1999
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Program riders presently come to Dream Riders from families in the midlands of South Carolina, local community group homes, and a variety of special needs agencies who feel an individual may benefit from the program. Classes are geared to each rider as an individual, and are aimed towards his or her ability. With the help of our certified instructors and volunteers, a rider gains a feeling of personal accomplishment and a freedom of movement they normally cannot experience in a wheelchair or with other aiding devices. Most importantly, our riders can benefit physically, emotionally and mentally through the interaction with the horses, instructors, volunteers and fellow equestrians, which makes this a truly unified sport. Some special needs served at PATH Intl. Centers: Down Syndrome, Intellectually Challenged, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Developmental Delay, Amputations, MS, Stroke, and other special needs.
What Dream Riders Has Given Me! Horseback riding and the Dream Riders program have many benefits. First, they have improved my social skills. Second, they have also boosted my mental health. Additionally, horseback riding has also increased my stamina. Therefore, since the purpose of therapy is to address those kinds of issues, horseback riding and the Dream Riders program should be considered a form of therapy. A major component to therapy is learning how to socialize with others. The Dream Riders program is conducive to this goal since through it I have met a variety of people. This opportunity to work and interact with others is important for the development of my social skills. Additionally, by taking care of the horses and riding them, I have formed bonds with the horses. Those relationships are good for my wellbeing since understanding the thought processes and emotions of the horses increases my empathy, compassion and social awareness. This companionship and friendship that I have with the horses is also beneficial because it is unconditional. Horseback riding especially dressage is therapeutic because it requires coping mechanisms such as multitasking and the development of self. When riding, I have to be aware of my surroundings. I also have to have correct posture. Additionally, I have to hold the reins a certain way in order to steer accurately. At the same time, I complete obstacles such as figure eights, circles, serpentines, and trotting. Finishing those tasks builds my self- esteem and confidence. Therapy is meant to incorporate all aspects of a person’s health. Since horseback riding involves coordination and balance, it is a form of exercise. A prime example of this is when I am slightly raised and bending over the horse which is a movement known as two point position. Horseback riding also tones and flexes the muscles. The riding position heels down toes up stretches my calves and legs. Since exercise is vital for physical health, horseback riding is good for my physical heath. Horseback riding should be considered a form of therapy since it addresses the same issues that I work on with my regular therapist. First, it helps to develop my social and mental skills. Second, it increases my self-esteem and confidence. Finally, it enhances my physical health. Thus, horseback riding corresponds with the main objectives of therapy. by Laura Robertson
A DREAM TO RIDE
Rider's Registration Packet Click on Rider’s   Registration   Packet above to link to a PDF file which you can then print out and complete the forms and send to the Dream Riders’ address on the packet cover letter Rider Handbook Booklet
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“Our mission is to provide an opportunity for people with special needs to benefit from equine assisted activities in a safe and rewarding environment.”
DREAM RIDERS
PATH International Premier Accredited Riding Center
DREAMS BECOME A REALITY THROUGH GOD’S HELPING HANDS AT DREAM RIDERS
“Myself and my whole family feel very strongly about Dream Riders. Our daughter, Jameson, is a survivor of infant stroke. She has cerebral palsy and has been in therapy since she was three months old. Dream Riders offers Jameson an alternative to traditional therapy as well as the opportunity to truly succeed in an individual sport. We were excited about therapeutic riding ever since we learned of it and we feel so grateful that Jameson was accepted into the program at Dream Riders. We have watched our daughter grow in many ways since beginning the program over one year ago. Jameson talks with pride about "her" horse, she is excited on her day to ride, she loves the people who encompass Dream Riders and she feels comfortable and at ease on the farm, so much so that she lets her silly side show. Dream Riders has worked diligently with Jameson to strengthen her right side and to elicit more flexibility in her range. Jameson's core was weakened by her stroke and therapeutic riding is an excellent way to rebuild core strength which in turn enables her to overcome even more physical challenges. I can envision that Jameson may one day pursue horse riding on her own accord, and not just for therapeutic reasons, because Dream Riders has provided such a safe and caring environment for which she can truly succeed. We love the people and the horses of Dream Riders and we look forward to many more successful years for Jameson and her therapeutic riding.” Dianne Buckley
Stories By Parents On What Dream Riders Means To Their Family
“My 5 ½ year old daughter, Skylar, participates in Dream Riders program. We have really noticed an increase in Skylar’s balance and core muscle strength and motivation to communicate with her “words” and sign language since coming to Dream Riders. It is our biggest event of the week that we both look forward to going on our weekly “dates” to. Every time she rides, she has a permanent SMILE! With all of the struggles, to escape from everything and s eeing a smile this big makes it all worth it. We will forever be thankful for being able to enjoy what I imagine heaven to be like because of the time, sweat, energy, and money that is put into Dream Riders to make this possible for my daughter. We are always welcomed as if we are family because we share the same bond with Mrs Jennifer and Mrs Corky and all of the other "angel" volunteers. We could not thank the people (and horses) enough for providing the caring and friendly atmosphere that has made such a huge difference to us.”
“We are the Yates' family. We have twin handicapped daughters. The girls were born prematurely and have faced many hurdles in their lives. Elisabeth is wheelchair bound, but riding is not her thing. Amy is our rider. And she is a joyous rider. Tuesday's are lesson days and her very favorite time of the week. We've made it into a momma/daughter day. She calls it "our big day!" She bounces in her seat when we turn into the Dream Riders drive. I don't complain about having special needs children. They are a blessing for us, but often parts aren't much fun. Amy has had 5 major brain surgeries, had a lung removed, suffers from seizures and falls into the autism spectrum and has cerebral palsy. And that's just off the top of my head. So, when a place presents a time of complete fun it becomes dear to our hearts. Dream Riders gives us that space of undiluted joy. And at the same time Amy is working on keeping muscles loose and her spine straight. Her cerebral palsy is markedly better after riding.”
“My son, Chase, is 10 and has been a rider in the Dream Riders program since he was 4 years old. I look at some of the pictures that were taken when he first sta rted the program compared to recent pictures and the one thing that has remained the same is the smile on his face! It is an absolute joy for Chase when it's his afternoon to go and ride. It's a combination of being with people he loves and getting to do something that brings such happiness to him. Dream Riders is definitely Chase's "happy place!" I can't say enough good things about the instructors, the volunteers, the riders and the horses that are involved in this program. I wish everyone had an opportunity to come out one afternoon and see the smiles on the faces of all the riders. It's priceless! It is so important for all kids to feel a sense of belonging but for special needs kids it's even more important and harder to find. We feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful program right here in our community that Chase can be a part of. For Chase, this program has given him so much confidence and helped him in so many areas including speech (he loves to talk and sing to the instructors and volunteers while riding!) to help him become the outgoing young man that we all know and love today!”
Dream Riders