Esperanza Farm is a 30 acre ranch located minutes outside San Antonio off Farm to Market Road 1560 situated just to the Northwest of Helotes, Texas. The ranch boasts all the facilities for UTTH to carry out a robust program for riders facing any challenge, disease or disability. UTTH operations at the ranch include a host of volunteers who serve as walkers, leaders, and assist the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International P.A.T.H. certified Program Director in carrying out the curriculum designed for each rider.
The ranch owners, Janine and Ralph Mendez have donated the use of facilities including horse stalls, covered training arena, tack room, open arena, and opportunities for trail rides. Esperanza Farm is the property of Janine and Ralph who live on this working Texas Hill Country ranch just minutes from downtown Helotes, Texas. Ralph commented that, “The Lord had blessed them in many ways, and the ranch was a way to give something back to others”. Janine, said that “they had also provided outings for the cancer units in the San Antonio area, in addition to hosting UTTH regular riding sessions”. The Esperanza Farm provides a full range of services including: boarding horses, training and riding lessons.
Ms. Higgs reports that UTTH designs therapeutic riding lessons around equestrian skill development and progression. Learning to ride is the objective and this provides therapeutic value for the riders. The long term rider goals may be physical, psychological, educational, cognitive, skill and/or recreational based. Ms. Higgs said, “We are so excited about the opportunity to host our riders in the local area where they live, making it easier to serve more potential riders”.
UTTH provides certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors, led by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (P.A.T.H.) Program Director, who is responsible for the design and implementation of individualized therapeutic riding sessions.
The health benefits from therapeutic horsemanship with UTTH include: balance, muscle strength and tone, physical endurance, range of motion, circulation, and respiration and sensorimotor. The mental and spatial benefits include: confidence, concentration and attention span, motivation, human-animal bonding, and social skills.
Upward Transitions serves Bandera, Bexar, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr and Medina counties and focus on riders with challenges, special needs school classes, wounded warriors including any veteran with a disability, juvenile justice systems, and at risk youth from a variety of organizations.
Therapeutic riding lessons can be taught privately, semi-privately or in groups of 3-6 students.
You can learn more about the Upward Transitions Therapeutic Horsemanship opportunity to ride for disabled and diseased children and adults - visit: http://www.upward-
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Amber B. Higgs
Amber B. Higgs