The SpiritHorse Method is focused on building independence, and to the best of each client's ability, in all areas of preparation and horse-care: leading, grooming, putting on and removing equipment before and after their ride. This process develops a sense of self-sufficiency and accomplishment, while also building sequencing and speech skills. During the mounted portion of the program, instructors lead the client through the SpiritHorse 70-step Equine-Assisted Program. This program utilizes movements and activities on the horse to develop rhythm and balance, and stimulate brain activity that actually works as effective intervention for the deficits of disabilities. In a natural environment, SpiritHorse’ equine-assisted therapy is an organic combination of speech, physical and relationship-building therapy. This therapy builds a variety of skills

  • Balance & coordination
  • Flexibility & core muscle strength
  • Sequencing
  • Self-esteem & self-confidence

The SpiritHorse Method addresses each rider’s individual needs and works to achieve the goals his or her parents, contributing therapists and doctors, and SpiritHorse instructors set. As clients move through the 70-step Equine-Assisted Program, progress is measured according to the mastery of these steps. Because we serve such a wide range of age and physical and cognitive functioning ability, success is measured in the individual accomplishments and milestones of each client.

For more information about the research to confirm the value of the SpiritHorse Method, please click here to review the study conducted by the University of Texas Southwest Medical Center.

SpiritHorse of Ohio is a certified SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center.

Where Did the SpiritHorse Method Come From?

After volunteering for 5 years at a Dallas-area Equine Therapy center, Charles Fletcher founded SpiritHorse in 2002 offering one-on-one therapeutic riding, free of charge, to children and adults with disabilities. At that time, there were no specific industry methods that addressed such a wide range of diagnoses. Beyond the recreational riding provided by most centers, Mr. Fletcher’s primary concern was to develop a program to assist individuals with special needs in reaching their full potential through interaction with horses.

SpiritHorse started in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but there are now 519 SpiritHorse-certified Instructors and 80 SpiritHorse centers worldwide. With 63 centers across the United States, one in Central America, one in South America, four in Europe and one in South Africa, SpiritHorse’ therapy programs serve roughly 5,000 patients per month worldwide.