SERVICES WE OFFER
LOCATED IN PORTALES NEW MEXICO, ABRAZOS ADVENTURE IS EASY ACCESS FROM CLOVIS, MELROSE AND
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE.
WE ARE DEFINITELY AN OUTDOOR HORSEBACK RIDING EXPERIENCE, OPEN YEAR ROUND, AND TRY TO WORK
AROUND YOUR SCHEDULE AND THE WEATHER. A GOOD ACTIVITY FOR BOTH CHILDREN AND ADULTS. YOU ARE
NEVER TOO OLD.
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ABOUT LESSONS IF YOU HAVE A SPECIAL NEED
It seems that over the years, the term 'special needs' keeps changing as
more and more is identified about the human creature and no one term
applies and describes all.
Having said that, I will address some of the conditions that I know have
been present in riders who have come here. I am not set up as a therapy
facility but over the years have found that, with minor adjustments, we can
benefit some riders within what I offer.
Mobility issues are a common problem. This may simply be a result of
our bodies having lived a hard life and taken a lot of knocking around
leaving us with joints and muscles that are stiff and unyielding.
Simply getting onto the horse's back may be a problem. The horses here
are taught to pull up along the fence so a person can swing a leg over from
there. Another thing I require is that all horses are mounted from a stool -
this helps reduce the pull on their back as the human gets on. Sometimes
extra people are needed to assist the rider getting on.
Adjusting the stirrups so one is shorter than the other can help with issues
when on the horse and promote your balance.
An individual's energy, such as the hyperactive or ADHD person, is
something we deal with as a part of ALL lessons. Enery is something that
the rider will need to work on so he/she can be successful with the horse.
Those with too much energy and the history of becoming mad or frustrated
learn to find the place of calm energy in order to communicate with the
horse. For those who have trouble in the academic area with being still and
focusing, I have observed that they can learn to focus while riding. I think
this is because they don't have to stop their energy, just redirect it.
We see the other side of energy too, the person who seems to have none
and can barely make it to the next part of the process. This person learns to
find assertive energy within and how to manifest and appropriately apply it.
I have observed that the person who starts lessons out not putting forth
effort will eventually do what is needed. If they don't, the horse will be in
charge of the ride and slow or no go will be what the horse chooses. Seeing
other riders able to steer and speed up is incentive for this rider to do their
job in riding.
Another energy issue is anger and defiance. There is absolutely no place
in this for anger. Children learn how to get to calm energy before interacting
with the horse and how to redirect energy if they feel they are getting angry
I have had riders who have profound impairments such as needing
assistance to walk - this individual will usually need a person walking by the
horse to make sure they stay on.
A rider who is unable to hold the reins and do any steering can still be on
the horse with someone leading him/her around. I do need people
accompanying this type rider because I have no staff - just me.
I have observed that the nonverbal rider appears to understand a lot of
what is going on around him/her and they may even understand simple
instruction on riding.
I have found people within this category
go from needing total assistance to being
able to take and be successful in a regular
lesson. A lot depends on the person who
is accompanying the individual.
My personal take is that I am dealing with
an intelligent person who has some
barriers and I will do my best to help them
have a positive experience.
If you or someone you know falls into this
category simply call me and we can
discuss your needs and my resources and
Some of the diagnosed conditions that have come through the barn door
over the years are Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, ADHD, Downs
Syndrome, Bi-polar, Tourette's Syndrome, allergies, head trauma injury,
stroke, those with sensory issues and the list goes on.
|One thing I think is wonderful about
this activity is that when the rider is
on the horse they can become just like
Fear is something I would categorize under special needs. Fear affects
our ability to make a decision which is crucial in dealing with horses. It can
affect our body by making us tense and stiff. A horse may interpret this
energy as having a predator on its back and may react badly to that
Over the years, many people have worked on this and gotten to the other
side of their fear allowing them to have that horse experience/relationship
that they always wanted.
It seems that sensory issues are becoming a common problem with the
children, either physical, emotional and/or mental overload.
Working with the horses gives the individual the opportunity to learn how to
get their emotions under control - redirect that energy to a place of
I have learned that communication of information needs to be presented
in very small slices in the beginning so a person can 'digest' it. As adults,
we tend to overload the kids with too much information and, when they
can't handle it, they shut us out. I have also learned, rather than telling the
person what to do next, ask an appropriate question to encourage them to
look within for information.
I have found that a lot of the children look to the adult after each piece of
process that they perform to be sure they are doing it correctly. I like to
encourage them to stay on task without looking for continual reassurance -
learn to have confidence in them self. I tell them I will let them know if they
go off track with what they are doing.
At times a child will not like some of the physical things that can occur.
Horse slobbers are one of those. They learn that they have to follow
through for the horse then they can take care of their discomfort. They
cannot run to a place to wash up; they learn to use the pant leg for lots of