About A Horse Connection...

A Horse Connection serves individuals of the Hudson Valley Region, including pediatric, adult and elderly populations with diagnoses which include but are not limited to:

Autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury,stroke, multiple sclerosis, ADD/ADHD, spina bifida, developmental delay, emotional disturbances, cognitive impairments, eating disorders, substance abuse, depression and schizophrenia.

A Horse Connection is location in the Hudson Valley region, with it's primary location at The Southlands Foundation in Rhinebeck, New York.

Special Services

A Horse Connection is proud to have a mini "herd" of miniature therapy horses that can travel to your location for special events such as parties for groups with special needs and therapeutic programs for nursing facilities, and schools for special needs.

A Horse Connection provides equine assisted therapy programs for individuals and groups with special needs. A Horse Connection is founded on the belief that horses, and the special bond that forms between the horses and the clients provide unique and innovative opportunities that maximize the therapeutic experience for those with physical, emotional and/or deveplomental challenges.

A Horse Connection understands that there is something very special about horses, and that clients of all ages, with varying life challenges respond to them in such a way that their therapy program can be fun, motivating, and fulfilling; while remaining challenging, outcome driven, and goal-oriented. We believe in a holistic and integrative approach that emphasizes the contribution of all the therapeutic disciplines in a supportive, safe environment. Our horses and ponies are specially chosen for their gentle nature. They too, seem to benefit from the bonds formed with their human friends.

Treatment areas addressed include:
  • Sensory Organization
  • Relevant and Purposeful Communication
  • Improved Social Skills
  • Increased Balance and Coordination
  • Fine Motor Development
  • Cognitive Strengthening
  • Improved Emotional Development
  • Increased Motor Planning
  • Building of Strength and Endurance
Treatment sessions are designed to:

Facilitate and promote a broad range of psychosocial and physical goal areas including increased sensory regulation, expression of needs and wants and appropriate, meaningful social interactions. Sessions can focus on increasing mobility for the home, school, work, and community environments with a large array of exercises on and off the horse. Fine motor skill training takes place during relevant activities, such as breaking a carrot treat for a special friend! Gains are made in attention span, coping skills, problem solving and memory. Confidence and self esteem grow as mastery of the environment develops. Empowerment and healing occur as one develops or regain controls of one's life, enhanced by the joy experienced from thge special bond with these special horses.

A Horse Connection offers:
  • Hippotherapy - An integrative treatment strategy which utilizes the horse's movement for occupational, physical and/or speech therapy. These therapeutic services may be submitted to insurance companies for reimbursement.
  • Therapeutic Riding - Instruction bases sessions which emphasize riding skill for people with special needs who may require modifications or adaptations in order to fulfill their desire to ride horses.
  • Equine Assisted Therapy- Sessions that emphasize therapeutic activites either on or off the horse, such as grooming, leading, feeding and prevocational tasks to promote independence.Other animals offering their assistance for meaningful, fun sessions include donkeys, pigs,sheep and goats.

Nancy King, MS, OTR/L
NARHA* Registered Therapist
Member American Hippotherapy Association
Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA)
New York State Occupational Therapy Association

*North American Riding for the Handicapped Association.