environment allowing those in need to escape their daily challenges. The goal for each individual is to allow them to become more independent. UTTH provides the programs that allows each rider to achieve the maximum independence their circumstances will allow.
The Board announced that Ms. Higgs will be coveting the following counties in an effort to extend the reach of UTTH: Bexar, Bandera, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr and Medina counties. After Ms. Higgs appointment, she remarked "We serve individuals with challenges, special needs school classes, and the Wounded Warriors Project including any veteran with a disability, juvenile justice systems, and at risk youth from a variety of organizations"
Ms. Higgs said that "therapeutic riding the lessons are developed around equestrian skill development and progression. Learning to ride is the objective, however, the process of learning comes with its own therapeutic value".
UTTH uses trained volunteers under the supervision of managers, and
the UTTH Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) certified instructor to teach the lessons developed specifically for each rider. Therapeutic Riding Instructors (managers) are the primary professionals responsible for the design and implementation of the therapeutic riding session. The instructors will enlist the help of volunteers to aid the riders during lessons as horse leaders, side walkers or communicators. Depending on the goals of the individual riding student, the instructor may also involve educators or medical professionals to give input to the lesson plan. The long term goals may be physical, psychological, educational, cognitive, skill and/or recreational based.
Ms. Higgs indicated that animal therapy, and more specifically, horse therapy affords challenged individuals opportunities through horse bonding and riding. She said the following list provides insight into the many ways UTTH can help individuals with mental, physical and social challenges. Therapeutic riding can address: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Arthritis, Arthrogryposis, Cerebrovascular Accidents, Cerebral Palsy, Cystic Fibrosis, Dwarfism, Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Fibromyalgia, Frederick’s Ataxia, Hunters Syndrome, Hearing Impairment, Muscular Dystrophy, Prader Willie Syndrome, Rett Syndrome, Sensory Integration Issues, Spina Bifida, Spinal Cord Injuries, Tourette Syndrome, Traumatic Head Injuries, Williams Syndrome, and Visual Impairments.