The Reins in Motion Foundation is a volunteer-based therapeutic riding program in Livermore, CA.
Reins presently has three PATH certified instructors, Katy Kempton, Director, Shauna Ketcham, and Amanda Dortch, over 30 volunteers and about 50 clients attending weekly sessions at the ranch. We operate all year round.
We serve children as young as 2 ½ years old and don't age out, meaning we don't discontinue services regardless of the age of the rider. After certified instructors evaluate each new rider and discuss personal goals with the rider's parents, they develop individual lesson plans and track their progress, meeting with parents on a quarterly basis or as needed.
In addition to helping the special needs community, RIM has a weekly two hour program for local veterans, Reins for Heroes.
We also collaborates with The Taylor Family Foundation by taking horses up to Camp Arroyo for the campers to ride around a beautiful meadow. Currently, we are going to camp approximately 20 times a year.
In the fall of 2007, Peggy James, Katy Kempton and David West began working together providing therapeutic riding to the special needs community. In the summer of 2011, they founded Reins in Motion Foundation, located in Livermore, California. The impetus for the program was a dearth of such programs for both children and adults with disabilities.
The Benefits of Horseback Riding:
Horseback riding promotes increased mobility, strength, coordination, balance, postural control, communication and cognition. While riding, our clients benefit from physical, occupational and speech therapy as well as mental and emotional development.
Riding on the back of a horse simulates human walking more accurately than any other therapy tool known to man. The pelvis of a horse moves almost identically to the pelvis of a human. When walking, the human pelvis typically moves in a rotation (circles), anterior to posterior (front to back), and lateral (side-to-side). When a horse walks, their pelvis moves in the same three dimensions. A horse's movement is rhythmic, repetitive and fluid. Their body heat and movement helps decrease spasticity in tight muscles. When a horse moves the rider must activate their muscles in order to stay upright and centered. Stronger core muscles lead to fine motor skills and speech production.
But even more critical than physical benefits are the emotional ones. Horses bond with their human companions. They are nonjudgemental companions, only asking for love, care, play, and feeding! The relationship between the rider, horse, teacher and volunteers promotes a “can do” attitude, social skills, self-esteem and feelings of accomplishment.
Not only do our students benefit from the program but staff and volunteers do as well. So thank you for being a part of this herd!
As a team, we are making a difference one rider at a time.