REINS began in a backyard in San Marcos, California in 1984 with a handful of disabled students and their devoted parents. We have since moved twice in our effort to embrace as many students as possible. In 1999, we purchased our permanent property in Fallbrook. In 2009, through a generous donation, we paid off our mortgage and are now able to devote our full attention to expanding the program, welcoming more students and increasing the quality of the therapy we provide.
At REINS, children and adults with disabilities learn how to ride horses. This is an intense form of therapy that benefits a wide range of abilities. Our current enrollment is nearly 200 weekly students who come from all over the counties of Orange, Riverside and San Diego. We also have the help of over 100 weekly volunteers who assist in all aspects of the program.
Therapeutic horseback riding benefits almost any disabling condition including: cerebral palsy, autism, down syndrome, head injuries, hearing impaired, visually impaired, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorders, speech & learning disabilities, and sensory integration dysfunction. The physical, mental, and emotional benefits of therapeutic horsemanship are numerous. The rhythmic motion and warmth of the horse stimulates and exercises the rider’s muscles increasing mobility of the pelvis, hip, and spine. The rider experiences weight shift and trunk mobility as if he were walking on his own.
As the horse and rider progress through their different gaits, the rider experiences a wide range of sensory input. At a walk, the rider benefits from the calming effort of the rhythmic, three-dimensional movement. As the horse moves to a trot, the rider’s alertness is increased, his posture aligned, and he becomes more aware of his own body. Riders respond to this movement as the lessons, activities and exercises take place. To encourage speech, identify objects, and sequence multiple tasks students also participate in games and socialize with other students.