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HORSEPOWER PROGRAMS

All programs are delivered by accredited HorsePower coaches and are designed to inspire emotional, cognitive, social, and physical growth through the transformative power of horses. 

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Horse Riding

Goal-based riding programs conducted under the instruction of accredited HorsePower Australia coaches.

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Carriage Driving

Provides individuals who are no longer able to ride a horse the opportunity to experience the great outdoors.

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Vaulting
 

A fun alternative equestrian activity that provides a wonderful learning opportunity for people of all ages and abilities. 

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Hippotherapy

The movement of the horse, under the direction of a trained physio or occupational therapist, can offer participants the opportunity for complex motor learning.  

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Walking with Horses

What happens when we step off our 'high horses' and walk beside these powerful beings? A whole new world of possibilities opens up. 

HorsePower Australia affiliated member centres provide opportunities for individuals to enjoy stimulating, therapeutic, educational and recreational activities; utilising the horse in a safe environment that they may otherwise not have access to. Our coaches and volunteers are all specially trained in how to assist individuals to achieve the most from their session in a safe and fun manner. 

The simple pleasure of working with horses is the basis of our programs which are designed to complement conventional therapies and education through the freedom of movement, gaining confidence, creating friendships and achieving individual outcomes and goals. 

Who are HorsePower Programs For?

HorsePower Australia member centres welcome people of all ages and abilities, who may be referred to them in a variety of ways, including from a health professional, a teacher, caregiver or friend of the family. 
 

Horse riding and horse related activities are of great benefit to people with a wide range of diversabilities including but not limited to:
 

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders 

  • Intellectual & Learning Disability

  • Cerebral Palsy

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Spina Bifida

  • Youth at risk

  • Down Syndrome

 
Benefits of HorsePower 
 

HorsePower Australia Programmes help develop, increase and improve:
 

  • Physical abilities: Muscle tone, balance, coordination, muscle strength, flexibility, fitness, posture, gait (ability to walk), respiration, circulation, metabolism, sensory perception and integration, independence: self-care and mobility.

  • Psychological abilities: Concentration, problem solving and decision making, insight, motivation, self-esteem, confidence, learning/practicing concepts e.g. letters, numbers, colours, distances, shapes etc.

  • Social abilities: Communication and social skills, learning appropriate behaviour and manners, interaction with peers: individuals and groups, human/animal contact and bonding, building relationships, consideration for others and taking on responsibility.

  • Recreational/sport/vocational abilities: Equestrian skills and horse management, develop interests, broaden experiences, challenge and success in competition with self and others, stimulation and/or relaxation, integration and community participation, work experience.

 
 
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HORSE RIDING

HorsePower Australia's riding programs focus on performing specific movements whilst riding the horse. Structured programs conducted under the instruction of accredited HorsePower Australia coaches with the assistance of trained volunteers and accredited horses provides individuals with a range of challenging tasks and exercises designed to develop both physical and emotional abilities. 

The therapeutic benefits of riding are numerous and as well as the physical benefits such as improved posture and balance, exercising with a horse is great fun! Horse riding can also improve your communication, confidence and decision making abilities as well as provide you with the opportunity to engage with a community of like minded people. 
 

HorsePower Australia offers a number of pathways for people with disabilities and adaptive needs who wish to try something a little more challenging and compete in the sporting arena. These include opportunities to become involved in Para-equestrian and Special Olympics programs. 

 
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CARRIAGE DRIVING

Carriage Driving teaches people with diversabilities to drive carriage horses/ponies and offers a different experience from riding where they can enjoy an outdoor activity with animals and other people. 

HorsePower Australia Carriage Driving programs can range from a nice relaxing pleasure drive through the bush to more fast paced driving courses where the drivers ability to make decisions and control a moving carriage are put to the test. With  specially built wheelchair loading carriages this program is open to people of all ages and abilities. An experience HorsePower Australia coach assists the participant in the carriage and a team of specially trained volunteers are always on the ground ready to provide support if needed. 

As well as participating in a fun activity Carriage Drivers can also benefit from the fantastic therapeutic benefits of the program including improved coordination, muscle power and balance. Being outside and handling animals also gives participants a sense of accomplishment and growing self-confidence. Not only do participants make new friend (both two-legged and four-legged), they learn new skills and have fun. 

 
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VAULTING

Vaulting is best defined as gymnastics or dance on a moving horse or barrel and involves teamwork, fitness and fun!

Vaulting has many benefits and HorsePower Australia offers Adapted and Integrated Vaulting programmes to assist people with physical, intellectual, emotional and social challenges. 

Vaulting has significant therapeutic benefits, including improved balance, stability, motor skills, flexibility and coordination. Working as a team to achieve a goal can also have a huge impact on self confidence.

HorsePower Australia  offers opportunities for participants to pursue vaulting as recreation or if they wish we provide pathways to competition at State, National and International competition.  

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HIPPOTHERAPY

Despite first impressions this program does not involve the hippopotamus. “Hippo” is the Greek word for horse therefore Hippotherapy (Equine Facilitated Therapy) is treatment or therapy aided by a horse.

Hippotherapy is carried our by specially trained physical, occupational and speech therapists who work in partnership with HorsePower Australia coaches and specially trained volunteers to use the movement of the horse to influence the participant.

Hippotherapy is the medical application of the horse in therapy. The movement of the horse makes Hippotherapy unique in comparison to other equine-assisted activities. The horse's unique multi-dimensional walk transfers variable, repetitive and rhythmic movement to the participant, which provides sensory input to the brain and nervous system.  The resultant responses in the participant are similar to the human movement patterns of the pelvis while walking. During a session the therapist, working in partnership with a HorsePower Australia horse handler, can analyse and adapt this movement to provide increased challenges for the participant. 

The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for therapy, increasing core strength, control, balance, and posture which can all lead to the development of fine motor skills and bilateral co-ordination.

Hippotherapy is a one-to-one hands on intervention program where the therapist works with the participant and the horse to achieve functional outcomes. The sessions are much more enjoyable than traditional forms of therapy and the interaction with the horse often motivates the participant to actively participate in their treatment. The HorsePower Australia setting is an ideal place to achieve therapeutic goals. 

HorsePower Australia is proud to be an Associate member of Horses In Education and Therapy International (HETI)  

 
 
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WALKING WITH HORSES

Walking with horses is an RDAWA program that offers individuals with mental health issues access to the therapeutic benefits of spending time with horses. 

Something transformative happens when you spend time with a horse, the walking with horses program uses interaction with horses to offer participants a new way to connect with themselves, process their emotions and explore behaviours and relationship patterns that have become problematic in their day-to-day lives. 

Horses are majestic, gentle creatures and as participants bond with them they learn valuable lessons about respect, empathy and communication that assist them in their journey to recovery. 

Participants interact with horses with the help of specially trained volunteers. Through practices like bathing, grooming and caring for the horse, participants can explore their own feelings, behaviours and interactions with others. 

Benefits of the walking with horses program include:
 

  • Increased sense of responsibility and self-confidence

  • Better communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills

  • Better ability to express feelings, needs, hopes and desires

  • Increased connection to self and others

  • Better understanding of teamwork and community

  • Increased trust and respect in relationships