Youth Programs

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The Thrive children are fully integrated into our extensive training programs – they take all classes with our Horse & Rider Connection clients. Our students learn about horses literally from the ground up and bit by bit. All of our students learn about every aspect of horse care – including hoof care, veterinary care and dental care. They prepare the grain and hay for each horse and participate in every aspect of grooming and horse care. They learn how to take care of a horse on the ground and gain basic riding skills. From there, they increase their riding skills and learn more advanced horsemanship skills. Through our program and the joy of horses  children develop necessary skills that will aid them in making future decisions and handling challenging situations.

We offer children the opportunity to participate in horsemanship classes and riding lessons.

We want every rider to have a chance to reach his or her fullest potential, regardless of circumstances.  Youth in our program redefine the social skills needed to successfully interact with their peers by working together around the barn. They also gain self-esteem and learn responsibility as they learn to bathe, groom, saddle, lead, lunge, and feed horses.  Eventually they will gain the advanced techniques and leadership skills needed to mentor other young riders. Thrive provides a place that is safe and nurturing for youth, while teaching them the values of hard work and responsibility.

The changes in the children and teens we have worked with is incredible, including:

  • Greater self-worth and confidence
  • Enhanced problem solving and social skills
  • Increased empathy and self control
  • Learning accountability for one’s actions
  • Improved stress and anger management
  • Learning respect for their peers and elders
  • Increased interest in volunteering and helping others
  • Improved leadership and communication skills
  • Increased responsibility and dependability.

Horsemanship Program

Our Horsemanship program provides a complete education in horse care, handling and riding. During this 3-hour class, students learn:
– Grooming, bathing & hoof care
– Equine first aid, common ailments & treatments
– Feeding
– Safety & arena etiquette
– Care of saddles, bridles & tack
– Riding

Through these group classes, children learn to communicate and connect with classmates, instructors and other individuals at the barn.

Horse Shows

Participation in a horse show bonds horse & rider and teaches kids to perform at a high level under pressure. Horse shows require incredible horsemanship – guiding a horse into a trailer, introducing them to a new environment, preparing them physically and mentally for competition, and finally competing under sometimes challenging and stressful circumstances, for both horse and rider. This type of competition exponentially improves a riders’ concentration, horsemanship and confidence. We see our riders’ confidence grow after even a single horse show.

Riding Lessons

One-on-one or small group riding lessons increase a child’s confidence like nothing else. The personalized attention they receive encourages a bond with their instructor and classmates that is sometimes lacking elsewhere in their lives. Children thrive when they are given this opportunity.

Traveling with Horses & Horse Camping

We love traveling and camping with horses. The experience of caring for a horse away from “home” is challenging and teaches creativity and ingenuity. It is lots of fun, but lots of hard work. Traveling with horses is expensive and would be out of reach for Thrive kids without our nonprofit program. We are able to bring these children with us and offer them these wonderful opportunities through Thrive With Horses.