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Our Locations:

2841 Thousand Acre Rd.
Delanson, NY 12053
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395 North Grand St.
Cobleskill, NY 12043
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40 Henrietta Blvd.
Amsterdam, NY  12010
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Early Intervention Comprehensive Evaluation Therapy Services
Health & Nutrition Continuing Education Therapeudic Riding Program

Therapeudic Riding Program

In Conjunction with the Cobleskill College Therapeutic Riding Program Welcome to the Whispering Pines Preschool and Cobleskill College Therapeutic Riding Program.  We have teamed up with the Cobleskill College Therapeutic Riding Program to provide a wonderful opportunity for children to interact with horses and other farm animals in order to enhance their therapy sessions. 

The children participate in games and activities on horseback, as well as related activities while on the ground (i.e. brushing a horse, cleaning a stall, etc.).  Our philosophy is to use the horse and farm environment as a motivating tool to enhance skill development based on the parents and therapists goals and objectives.

Safety is of the highest priority when working with your child.  To ensure your child’s safety, we always have side-walkers at all times, as well as a therapist, an instructor, and a person to walk with the horse.  Please note that SUNY college students and community volunteers participate by offering assistance as side-walkers. 

In addition, we ask that children be dressed appropriately for outdoor weather, with sturdy closed toe shoes, boots, or sneakers (a child is unable to ride in sandals).  Due to the nature of farm activities, children may have clothing more soiled then general play within a home or classroom setting.

What is Therapeutic Riding?

Healing through horses has evolved from the sports model in Britain and the clinical model in Germany and Switzerland.  Respectfully, emphasis is placed on mental and physical well-being through riding as a recreational sport and through medical orientation which stresses postural alignment and symmetry as goals of equestrian activity.

In the United States, both the sports model and the clinical model are used with the addition of a third approach, education.  These three aspects encompass specific goals and techniques, yet overlap, complement, and support each other.

Meaningful lesson plans may combine goals from the three areas.  Every rider presents a unique set of abilities.  The aim of therapeutic riding is to develop a lesson plan that addresses the capabilities of each rider.

If you are interested in reviewing more information regarding therapeutic riding, refer to the North American Riding Handicapped Association (NARHA) website at www.NARHA.org.

At Cobleskill College, their philosophy is to use the horse and farm environment as motivating tools to teach and challenge familiar, as well as new, activities.  During these activities, the children are experimenting and practicing skills that are being taught at home or at school.  This process should increase the likelihood of those skills being maintained or mastered in a fun and memorable way.

In collaboration with professionals in the field (a physical therapist, speech therapist, special education teacher, occupational therapist) motor, cognitive, social/emotional, and speech and language goals and objectives are incorporated in each riding session and/or farm-related activity.

The following conditions, if present, may represent precautions or contraindications to therapeutic horseback riding.  Therefore, please advise staff whether these conditions are present, and to what degree.

Orthopedic    Medical/Surgical
Spinal Fusion     Allergies
Spinal Instabilities/Abnormalities Cancer
Allantoaxial Instabilities     Poor Endurance
Scoliosis    Recent Surgery
Kyphosis Diabetes
Lordosis Peripheral Vascular Disease
Hip Subluxation and Dislocation Varicose Veins
Osteoporosis Hemophilia
Pathologic Fractures Hypertension
Coxas Arthrosis   Serious Heart Condition
Heterotopic Ossification Stroke (Cerebrovascular Accident)
Osteogenesis Imperfecia   
Cranial Deficits  
Spinal Orthoses  
Internal Spinal Stabilization Devices  
Neurologic  Secondary Concerns
Hydrocephalus/shunt  Behavior Problems
Spina Bifida     Age Under Two Years
Tethered Cord   Age Two – Four Years
Chiari II Malformation  Acute exacerbation of chronic disorder
Paralysis due to Spinal Cord Injury  
Seizure Disorders  

Meet Our Staff

Beth Taylor, MS, OTR/L

Beth is a graduate of Russell Sage College, where she received her MS in Occupational Therapy.  Beth is also a graduate of SUNY Cobleskill, where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science-Equine.  Previously, Beth ran a private stable for 8 years.  Beth has been involved with hippo therapy for over a year.  She has received training from the AHA (American Hippo therapy Association).  She is also a member of the AHA and NAHRA (North American Riding Handicapped Association).  Beth is currently working through the NAHRA training program in order to become a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and is in the process of completing her required hours in hippo therapy.  After she completes these hours, Beth will be listed on the NAHRA website as a Therapist who provides hippo therapy services.  Beth has worked for Whispering Pines Preschool for over 5 years.

Kathleen Sellnow, R/PT

Kathleen is a graduate of Quinnipiac University, where she received her Bachelor Degree in Physical Therapy.  Kathleen has been working in pediatrics as a Physical Therapist for over 6 years.  Kathleen has been involved with hippo therapy for over 2 years, and has experience in working with both children, as well as adults.  Kathleen has worked for Whispering Pines Preschool for over 2 years.

If you have any questions, concerns, or would like any additional information about this program, please contact Beth Taylor, MS OTR/L, or Kathleen Sellnow, R/PT at (518) 875-6724.

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