Heavenly Hooves

Serving Special Needs Individuals


Since 2002 Heavenly Hooves has safely served over 25,000 individuals. Our teaching methods, safety standards, and rigorous instructor training are strictly guided by the principles of PATH International. Specially trained horses and PATH-certified instructors are used to help foster a sense of accomplishment in each student's spirit. Lessons are conducted in a safe and supportive environment where students learn to groom, care for, and ride their horse. We strive to instill confidence, provide happiness, excitement, and most importantly, a feeling of inclusion for all our students. Besides delivering smiles, hope, and cheer, Heavenly Hooves helps participants in the following ways:

  • Develop fine and gross motor skills through petting and grooming
  • Encourage expressions of positive emotions
  • Teach cooperation
  • Increase tactile tolerance and awareness
  • Increase expressive language skills
  • Encourage reach, capture, and manipulation of objects
  • Build self esteem
  • Encourage gestures and/or sounds
  • Increase vocabulary

 

 

Heavenly Hooves offers three activities:


  • Riding classes for individuals with disabilities & limited riding classes for general public (volunteers & HH family members)
  • Competitive riding for individuals with disabilities
  • Pony Express visits

Riding Classes for Individuals with Disabilities


Riding classes for individuals with disabilities occur in three sessions throughout the year, similar to the school calendar (fall semester, spring semester, summer semester).  Visit the Class Schedule page to learn more about class times and fees. Participants enroll in a group class, where they receive training with three other students. However, individual classes are also available. As well, on occasion, we offer a more intensive therapeutic experience in our hippotherapy sessions (working in tandem with a physical, occupational, or speech therapist). All hippotherapy is provided as private instruction and designed to meet the needs of the individual.
 
 
 
All instruction is facilitated by a PATH-certified riding instructor and is designed to improve a variety of skills, such as balance, focus, coordination, flexibility, and muscular strength, while instilling a sense of accomplishment in every student. We aim to offer an experience that is fun and interactive and involves riding, grooming, and games. Please contact our program manager to inquire about enrollment.
 

Get saddled up right away by clicking here to learn about fees and complete the registration form!

 

Competitive Riding for Individuals with Disabilities


Competitive riding for individuals with disabilities is an advanced facet of our programs. Once students have participated in a riding session, they are always invited to participate in horse shows, quarterly, as well as the Equestrian Special Olympics. We strive to participate in The National Snaffle Bit Association's World Championship event for both Veterans and individuals with disabilities, which is held annually in August. Our five-year plan also includes the possibility of participating in the Paralympics competitions. We look forward to having you on the team!

The Pony Express


The Pony Express is one of our most unique programs. The Pony Express provides equine-assisted therapy by making “house calls” to children with serious illnesses or disabilities who cannot come to us.
 
The Pony Express makes regular visits to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Nemours Hospital. Studies show that touching and interacting with animals, ponies in this case, can provide physical emotional, mental, and cognitive benefits. If you would like to request a visit from the Pony Express, please contact our Pony Express Manager.

 

About McCormick

4651 Rummell Road
St. Cloud, FL 34771
407-933-7433 (RIDE)
© 2017 McCormick Research Institute, Heavenly Hooves, Horses and Heroes. All Rights Reserved.