healing through horses
Equi-librium is a non-profit organization that offers equine-assisted programs and services.
It is a Premier Accredited Center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH).
All activities are provided by licensed or certified staff with the assistance of volunteers.
For over 15 years, Equi-librium has been providing programs and services to individuals, groups, schools and agencies in the Lehigh Valley and the Poconos. Now conveniently located in Nazareth on our own farm, we are able to offer more programs to a greater number of people, year ‘round.
Seeing is definitely believing, and we encourage you to schedule a visit to the farm so that you can experience the magic that our horses perform six days a week.
Please contact our program director, Debbie Hutchison, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-365-2266 to set up an appointment or to get more information about any of our programs and services.
We hope to see you at the farm soon!
General Program Information
Sessions are 10 weeks in length with the exception of camps and extended fall. Each week includes a 45 minute lesson; time is allotted for tacking and grooming of the horse before and after the ride. Components of both the Riding and Driving programs can be held indoors or out depending on the weather; we only cancel in extreme or unsafe conditions. As none of our services are covered by insurance, we subsidize our programs and rely on the generosity of individuals, corporations, foundations, and the proceeds from special events to cover the full costs of our programs.
By offering a progressive and individualized approach to equine-assisted activities, the services of Equi-librium:
- provide an equine-assisted adjunct that reinforces and enhances a program participant’s occupational and physical therapy programs;
- provide a multi-sensory experience enabling program participants to develop their sensori-motor and perceptual motor skills;
- provide a psycho-educational opportunity for learning and achievement;
- provide an opportunity for socialization and recreation, and;
- provide an opportunity for program participants to achieve their highest potential possible in functional horseback riding skills.
Equi-librium uses a progressive, individualized program with each of its participants. Program participants are not usually started in the program learning traditional functional riding skills. Instead, each participant starts on the horse using an approach that reflects each participant’s level of postural control, balance, coordination, and perceptual and cognitive skills. An individual program plan is developed at the start of each season creating objective goals for the program participant. As participants progress through their goals, they “graduate” to increased skill levels on the horse leading to functional and independent riding within their capabilities.
Let a horse get you moving! In this program, the unique combination of centered riding techniques along with strengthening and stretching exercises provide the movement necessary to build core strength and muscle tone.
Benefits: Helps maintain joint integrity, increase and improve mobility; can help guard against falls, reduces pain.
Suited for: Individuals of all ages with impaired balance, arthritis, low muscle tone, decreased strength, low endurance or other disabilities.
Private Instruction: This is a program conducted by a PATH-Certified instructor and/or, Certified Athletic Trainer with the aid of one or more volunteers.
Fee: $50 per lesson
Sensory Integration and Movement Experience
This sensory integration program utilizes a saddle pad and a large belt with two handles that is strapped around the horse to keep the pad in place and help the participant balance, creating a close connection with the horse and allowing the freedom to learn and practice different positions on the horse. The changing of position on the horse, along with stimulating and engaging activities provides a unique multi-sensory experience.
Benefits: Develop body awareness, improve posture and balance, coordination; helps develop cognitive and perceptual skills.
Suited for: Individuals with sensory integration issues, developmental delays, attention deficit, cognitive delays and those in need of social and emotional support.
Private/Semi-Private Instruction: This program is conducted by a PATH-certified instructor with the aid of one or more volunteers, or can be utilized as a semi-private session to help in the development of social skills.
Fee: Private: $50; Semi-Private $45 per lesson
This program utilizes the movement of the horse as a tool under the direction of a licensed or certified Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Speech Therapist with the aid of a PATH-certified instructor, to address functional limitations, and disabilities in individuals with neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction.
Benefits: This tool is used as a part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional outcomes.
Suited for: Individuals with fine and gross motor skill dysfunction, speech and language dysfunction, cognitive and/or behavioral dysfunction and developmental delays.
Private Session: This program is under the direction of a licensed or certified therapist along with a PATH-certified instructor.
Fee: $80 per lesson
This recreational riding program teaches functional riding skills using centered riding techniques. Riding skills are practiced and developed over the year and participants may have the opportunity to participate in an on-site horse show.
Benefits: Develop horsemanship skills as well as social skills, improve balance, coordination, posture, independence, confidence and a healthy self-esteem.
Suited for: Individuals who desire to focus on riding skills and who are ready to work toward independent riding. A participant may graduate to Trail Blazers program after successfully reaching goals within the Developmental Riding program.
Private/Semi-Private or Group: This program is under the direction of a PATH-certified instructor and volunteers, depending on the needs of the rider.
Fee: Private $45; Semi-Private $40; Group $35 per lesson
Therapeutic carriage or cart driving is geared toward those who do not wish to or cannot ride a horse. Participants learn how to groom and harness the horse along with “hooking up” the horse to the cart or carriage and how to steer and guide a horse through patterns and obstacles.
Benefits: Develop independence, coordination, and fine and gross motor skills; improve posture, balance and focus.
Suited for: Those who are unable to ride, or choose to learn how to drive a horse and carriage.
Private: This is a private lesson; one-on-one with a PATH-certified driving instructor. Volunteers also attend the lesson to ensure safety.
Fee: $45 per lesson
Equine-Assisted Learning (Ride, Learn, & Grow)
This is an innovative educational program which engages students in a succession of creative activities and interactive exercises with horses that teach positive life skills, develop strength-based developmental assets using a Common Core curriculum in a non-traditional learning environment.
Benefits: Builds confidence, teaches empathy and self-control. Helps to develop communication skills; provides academic enrichment and reinforces academic goals.
Suited for: Pre-school, elementary through high school as well as after-school or special learning programs.
Group Sessions: These sessions are under the instruction of a PATH-certified instructor with a background in education and/or psychology. We can accommodate groups up to 24 students at a time.
Fee: determined by group size and length of sessions. Sessions can run for 8 to 10 weeks, meeting once a week for 2 to 3 hours.
Silver Saddles Club
This program combines the teaching of centered riding techniques, stretching, and strengthening exercises into a group program especially designed with seniors in mind. They will learn how to ride or regain riding skills as well as build relationships with their peers and the horse.
Benefits: Decreases feelings of isolation and loneliness, develops and strengthens new and/or existing relationships while working toward goals and maintaining muscle strength and mobility.
Suited for: Men and women age 55 and older with age-related challenges who desire to learn new skills and enjoy social outings. The Silver Saddles Club is a great activity for individuals who struggle with arthritis and low muscle tone.
Private, Semi-Private and Group Sessions: This program is conducted by a PATH-Certified instructor under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist or Certified Athletic Trainer.
Fee: Private $45; Semi-Private $40; Group $35 per lesson
Horsemanship for Heroes
This program is a therapeutic riding/driving program where horsemanship skills are taught to meet the physical, mental or emotional needs of service men and women. Connecting with the horse helps individuals readjust, reconnect, and get back to living.
Benefits: Helps relieve depression, anxiety and stress for those who suffer from PTSD. Aids in physical, emotional and mental health and wellness.
Suited for: Service men and women who suffer from PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury or other combat-related injuries.
Private, Semi-Private and Group Sessions: This program is conducted by a PATH-Certified instructor with a background in psychology.
Fee: Private $45; Semi-Private $40; Group $35 per lesson
Summer and Holidays: Camp FUN - Horsemanship FUNdamentals
During this inclusive week-long program of fun and learning, attendees participate in horsemanship activities such as grooming, leading, care and riding every day. A new life lesson is taught daily which is supported through fun games, activities and crafts. Each week provides an opportunity for different age groups to participate, allowing appropriate activities and fun for everyone!
Benefits: Helps develop communication and leadership skills, helps build relationships and practice cooperation; develop and practice horsemanship, as well as horsecare and management.
Suited for: All ages and ability; weeks are available by age range - see calendar and flyers for more information.
Group Instruction: This program is conducted by a PATH-Certified instructor with a background in education and/or psychology and with the aid of volunteers
Fee: Camp runs Monday-Friday from 9 to 12 in the summer; $250/person. Winter Holiday Camp runs the available week days between Christmas and New Year's Day; $200/person.
Winter Enrichment Activities: Horsemanship Course and Exercise for Equestrians (Equi-Stretch, Equi-Cise, Silver Saddles Stretch & Strengthen)
Tuesday or Thursday evenings: A1½ hour Horsemanship class from 5:00-6:30pm. Activities include grooming, tacking, leading and riding as well as classroom horse-related activities. Participants may not ride every session due to incorporating other activities.
Tuesday or Thursday mornings: Inclusive 45-minute exercise sessions are suitable for any rider wanting to stay in shape during the colder months when riding isn't always possible. Classes are offered twice a week; choose one or both.
Benefits: Stay active in the winter months and become a more accomplished equestrian
Suited for: All ages and abilities (see flyer for breakdown of choices)
Group Instruction: This program is conducted by a PATH-Certified instructor; the exercise instructor is also a Certified Athletic Trainer
Fee: Horsemanship $350 for 10 week session; Exercise $95 once weekly, $190 twice weekly for a 10 week session - mix and match. Bring a friend on a drop-in basis for $10/class
Equi-librium offers vocational preparation programs for Stable/Barn Management and Equine Management and Horsemanship. Classes are small, individualized, and structured to deliver individual attention and supportive socialization.
Benefits: Trains and develops transferable life skills, addresses functional academics, communication, social interaction, attention to task, responsibility, self-confidence, coordination, multi-tasking, and following multi-step directions.
Suited for: High School students transitioning to the workplace or individuals looking for alternative skills to find different employment.
Group Instruction: Training is done one-on-one with the student/aide under the direction of a PATH-certified instructor and supervision of trained Equine Management staff in group or individual sessions; S/BMgmt. training is done one on one with a 3-4 hour workday; EM&H is 3 hours once a week for 8-12 weeks.Fee: Stable/Barn Management $75 per day; Equine Management and Horsemanship is $110 per week for private/semi-private instruction; $75 per student per week for group (3 or more students)
Bring a group to tour the farm and meet our equine team! This offers the opportunity to learn about basic care, feed, communication and movement of the horse. Riding or driving a horse can also be arranged; this adds more time for fun on the farm.
Benefits: Fun and educational experience
Suited for: Any age or size
Group Instruction: This program is conducted by a PATH-Certified Instructor with the aid of volunteers
Fee: $35 per person for groups numbering under 10; $20 per person if 10 or more in a group; Riding or Driving Package Visit: additional $15 per person. Basic group 90 minutes; Riding or Driving group 2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the group.
Lil’ Bear Visits
We bring the farm to you! Lil’ Bear is a miniature horse who is part of our therapeutic cart-driving team. Educational information is shared about our program and how it helps individuals with special needs. A short video is shown during presentation along with demonstrations. “Lil’ Bear the Helping Horse” is a book geared toward pre- and early elementary school-aged children and may be read to engage age-appropriate interaction and discussion about his occupation.
Benefits: Educational, informational and helps stimulate discussions about special needs and the benefits of equine therapy along with the care of the horse. For seniors, the visit is mentally stimulating and may trigger memory as well as relieve depression.
Suited for: Anyone; presentations are modified according to audience.
Fee: $250; session lasts approximately 90 minutes