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We Do

Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center is proud to offer accredited, therapeutic riding programs benefiting our neighbors on Cape Cod. 


Our programs consist of three different types of equine-assisted services: adaptive riding, unmounted horsemanship, and equine-assisted learning. Just as every person is unique, so is every participant's therapeutic program. Depending on the needs of the individual participant, our program director may utilize components of all three types of equine-assisted services offered to create a program that will provide the most benefit for the student and help them best achieve their goals, or the director may use one type of equine-assisted service to develop a program. Designing a program to meet the needs of the participants ensures that each individual receives the benefits they need to improve their daily lives.


Research by the Horses and Humans Research Foundation shows that riding, grooming, and interacting with horses has a noticeable positive effect on participants. The study concluded that participation in equine-assisted services showed improved motivation, communication, and cognition (

Emerald Hollow TRC Classes

Our Therapeutic Horsemanship Programs

ADAPTIVE RIDING (also known as therapeutic riding) is recreational horseback riding specialized for children and adults with disabilities. The therapeutic qualities of horseback riding are numerous and are recognized as beneficial by many medical professionals. A horse's gait, which is similar to human walking patterns, provides neuromuscular and sensory input to the rider. The benefits of adaptive riding can include improvements in the following areas: small and gross motor skills, core strength, muscle tone, flexibility, balance, coordination, problem-solving, and task-sequencing abilities. It also builds communication, confidence, and trust with the student's horse and peers.


UNMOUNTED HORSEMANSHIP activities allow students to interact with horses in a variety of ways as they learn equine care and basic stable management skills. Activities such as grooming, leading, and working with and around the horses are taught in a safe and supportive environment. No riding is involved in unmounted activities.


EQUINE-ASSISTED LEARNING (EAL) is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills. This approach integrates horse-human interaction that is guided by a planned learning experience to meet the identified goals or desires of the participant(s). Working with horses provides opportunities to teach critical life skills such as trust, respect, honesty, and communication. Participants engage in objectively driven exercises and learn valuable life skills while working with horses in a fun and exciting atmosphere.


Our therapeutic horsemanship programs aim to help each participant to progress toward fulfilling their goals in a secure environment and to contribute positively to the participant's cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being.


Lessons can be offered in a group setting, providing opportunities for socialization and teamwork. However, we also offer private lessons for individuals who require more individualized support

The Equus Effect Program for Veterans

The Equus Effect Program, developed by Jane Strong and David Sonatore, uses simple exercises and activities in partnership with horses designed to evoke participants' responses that reflect their inner landscape and reactions to others in their lives. It gives participants the opportunity to hone their relationship skills, enhance self-awareness, and build emotional and mental resilience.


The Equus Effect is unique and emphasizes rebuilding healthy relationships to facilitate personal and professional growth and healing. The activities enable veterans to build resonance with horses as prey animals and learn how their non-verbal communication impacts others.


Veterans who have gone through the program have reported benefits, including increased selfesteem, self-worth, and trust for others, as well as decreased symptoms of depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and self-inflicting thoughts.


No horse experience is necessary. No riding is involved. This program is offered free of charge to all US Military personnel in conjunction with the Cape Cod Vet Center through the generous support of the Dennis Field of Honor and The Nicholas G. Xiarhos Memorial Foundation.

New Participant Enrollment

  1. To begin the enrollment process, please click the button below, which will open a file containing forms.

  2. Print all the forms and then fill them in. If you are unable to access these forms online, please call the office at 508-896-0064 for assistance.

  3. Once your forms are complete, including the Physician’s Statement, please mail them to us at:  235 Run Hill Road, Brewster, MA 02631

  4. Upon receipt of your completed forms, EHTRC will call you to schedule a Participant Evaluation.

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