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Our Excel-lent Programs

Excel-lent Programs:


Balance and Rebalance


Leg Up... a boost into the Saddle


Idaho Gem State Vaulters


Horses Helping Families, A Good Family Dynamics Project


"Enjoying the most simple pleasures of outdoor life like fresh air, good exercise and a connection with one of the most beautiful, graceful and yet powerful creatures on our planet, is a precious gift, and very nurturing for the soul."   Willa Rose, Executive Director for S.H.E.


Programs our students Excel in... donations are welcome.

Balance and Rebalance - good for body, mind and spirit.

Leg Up... a boost into the Saddle - for youths at risk with a cowboy leadership code of ethics.

Idaho Gem State Vaulters - therapeutic, recreational and competitive teams.

Horses Helping Families, A Good Family Dynamics Program -  Join-Up in experiential equine assisted activities for families of adoption, autism, deployment, fostering and PTSD.


Balance and Rebalance

The Riding Academy riding sessions begin with learning to balance on a moving horse, and finding that balance again and again. It is a wondrous excercise for the body and mind; and with every success, there is a moment of revelry that is very satisfying for the spirit.  This Balance and Rebalance program is the core of our riding therapies. Riding therapies are used for every rider, beginner and skilled.  


The history of using riding therapies began in classical Rome with Hippocrites recognizing their value for balancing the wounded veteran.  In the early 1950s, polio stricken  Lis Hartel won Olympic Silver in Dressage, a riding style that is the personification of balance. She and her therapist in Denmark started the first therapeutic horseback riding center in the modern world. They named it hippo-therapy after the Greek word hippos for the horse. Today the name has evolved into Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).


Leg Up... a boost into the Saddle

It seems we can all use a little boost into the saddle once in a while. No harm in asking. Sometimes we need to step back, take a breath,  and start over. No harm in trying. You don't give up on a horse just because he's down and you don't throw away a human life just because of a mistake.


In our fast paced society, some horses are expected to start competitively campaigning way too young and consequently burn out just before full maturity; and then replaced by a younger prospect;  perhaps given up on before the meaning of their lives was revealed. It is the same with troubled or at risk youths. These older horses are like wise old grandparents full of love and opportunities in which such youths can discover their authentic selves.


In today's society, a core of honest values seems to be lost on how to get ahead without cheating on others. Many of our youths are training themselves by looking to their peers for answers and making decisions that are age related and not experience based. No matter what the causes are for trouble or at-risk youths, all kids follow one code of conduct or the other; good family values or the street life. 


Leg Up... a Boost Into the Saddle  is a therapeutic horseback riding known as equine assisted activities provides the opportunity to make things right again... a little boost into the saddle of one's self to prepare for an authentic adult life. Our program uses the generous spirit of the horse as a life coach and the  Code of the West  lived by the American Cowboy.


Through tax deductible donations, students attend camps, workshops or therapy programs for a life changing experience. Day camps are held for three consecutive days and lasting 4-hours each day. A 24-session therapy program focuses on an individual from the beginning, gradually advancing she/he through group sessions and finally coaching the individual in a horse show.


We use the training round pen to demonstrate good leadership skills from the ground with thoughtful responses as opposed to reckless reactions. We use the riding arena for riding sessions where the leadership skills are put to use from a different perspective atop a horse's back. Our cowboy leadership foundation of values and principals teaches a code of ethics desperately needed in today's fast paced world.


Idaho Gem State Vaulters

The Riding Academy offers vaulting as a therapy to teach balance for riding and as an equine sport. Vaulting is gmnastics and dance choreographed to music on the back of a moving horse traveling in a circle guided by a trainer. This ancient form of horsemanship was used to teach warriors how to maintain balance at all times while atop a moving horse. Today a simplified form is used therapeutically to help physically and emotionally challenged humans of all ages. We call this adaptive vaulting, which can be recreational or competitive. As a competitive international sport, individuals and teams can earn medals while competing at Regional, National and International Vaulting Festivals. Vaulting teaches team building, goal setting, and responsibility for self as a team member. The  Idaho Gem State Vaulters travel to Regional and National Championships as well as performing demos locally, and is a member of the American Vaulting Association (AVA).


Horses Helping Families, A Good Family Dynamics Project

Families find new ways in which to communicate their discomforts and celebrate their successes through a method we refer to as Join-Up.  Body language is the key influence (positive or negative). Persistence means not giving up. Resilience allows us to fail, see the difference and ‘Try’ again. Be tough, but fair. Know where to draw the line. When you make a promise, keep it. Always finish what you start. Take pride in your work, and live each day with courage.


Horses affect us on multiple levels, relaxing and supporting a rider in such a way as to create a wider opening for healing to take place. Sessions last 4-hours on three separate dates held at the Dream River Ranch only

25-minutes east of Boise, ID .

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