We Participated in a Shea Riding Center Event

Western Barbeque hosted by Aileen BrazeauPaul and I own a horse farm. We breed horses both for stud and for racing. We care very much for our horses and we both enjoy interacting with our horses and their trainers. Horses are beautiful animals with their own distinct personalities and quirks. just like humans, some are more social, others less so. There are horses with a sense of mischief and other who take things very seriously. Sometimes there are even horses who are empathetic. They can tell when someone carries deep pain, or needs a gentle touch.

Over the years, those people who work with horses began to notice that when some people who have a particularly difficult time relating to others, or for whom anxiety is an issue can feel much better after interacting with their horses. That is what the staff and volunteers at the Shea Center will tell you. They have seen people’s lives changed forever once they work with the horses at  J F Shea Therapeutic Riding Center.

Here is what they say on their site about the various riding programs:

  • ” The Shea Center offers classes that focus on a broad range and combination of disabilities. These classes fall under the general term “therapeutic riding” but each class is a sophisticated program developed to address the needs of that small group.
  • For example, physical rehabilitation classes are aimed at riders with impairments affecting muscles, bones and nerves. These classes use the input of the horse, activities on the horse and positioning on the horse, to provide strength, balance, and coordination.
  • Cognitive classes address the many processes of the mind, including planning, judgment, memory, orientation, concepts, attention, and language.
  • Sensory Processing classes provide activities on the horse to improve the brain’s ability to take in, analyze and respond to information from the body’s five senses. The primary goals of these classes are increased body awareness, sequencing and judgment skills, attention span, cause and effect, motor coordination, spatial awareness, and early learning skills.
  • Horsemanship classes help clients acquire and refine riding skills at the Center’s highest level. In addition to the physical benefits of riding, clients improve judgment skills, social interaction, coordination, motor planning, self confidence and self-esteem, and a greater sense of independence. “

The people at Shea are amazing, loving and gentle people. If you get the chance, make an appointment to go and observe what they do.


Aileen Brazeau



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