School for Therapeutic and Recreational Riding
School for Therapeutic and Recreational Riding (STARR) is a program located in Decatur, IL, dedicated to offering therapeutic horseback riding for children with special needs as a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization, staffed entirely by volunteers. We are able to offer our services with the help of our gracious community, who donate their time and money to keeping this program going for the children.
What is Therapeutic Riding?
Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of individuals with special needs by providing experiences in the areas of health, education, sport, recreation, and leisure. Throughout the world, there are thousands of individuals with special needs who reap the rewards of horseback riding. A disability does not have to limit a person from riding horses. In fact, experiencing the motion of a horse can be very therapeutic. Because horseback riding rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance, and muscle strength. In addition to the therapeutic benefits, horseback riding also provides recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors.
Some of the benefits our riders see are:
Enhanced muscle tone
Lots of FUN!
Our therapeutic riding sessions are overseen by physical therapists and are geared toward each rider. With small class sizes, riders get individualized instruction while riding.
Our riders and volunteers safety is our top concern and we are proud to say that we have been awarded perfect safety awards annually since 1997.