ATHENA Horse Training for Development & Growth
A horse training intervention that teaches people with neuro-psychiatric conditions to rehabilitate, train and maintain horses for therapeutic programs. Lunging and long reining to build muscle, rhythm and balance. In-hand work (shoulder-in, counter shoulder-in, travers, half pass and renvers) to build suppleness and trainability. Softening groundwork (jaw, poll and lumbar flexions) to create a horse that moves fluidly, feels physically and emotionally good, and who can therefore impart its own wellbeing to a client whether working in the saddle or on the ground.
ATHENA has been especially successful with wounded warriors preparing horses for special needs children. The program was pioneered through New Trails Learning Systems at the Ride On Center for Kids (the PATH training center in Austin, TX), The Remount Foundation of the US Airforce Academy, and with the German Bundeswehr. But you don’t have to be a veteran or a young adult with neuro-psychiatric conditions. Any one who wants to train, improve, maintain or rehab a horse should learn ATHENA.
Many therapeutic riding centers struggle finding time to maintain their horses’ training and physical condition, and this impacts their ability to serve clients. ATHENA provides the solution by creating trainers out of the adult and young adult client group – thus getting the horse trained while also serving those clients selected as trainers – because the training process has it’s own therapeutic value. Then, in turn, the better muscled and suppled horses can better serve the second set of riding clients. ATHENA is thus a win, win, win, win: empowerment for the adult client group doing the training, physical and mental wellbeing for the horses, a better riding experience for the riding clients, and no more time conflict between training and delivery of service for the therapeutic riding staff.
To see in depth what we do, watch the video below: