Therapeutic Riding is an equestrian skill-based activity for children and adults with disabilities. The focus of the lessons is skill development and progression while improving the rider’s physical, cognitive, emotional and/or social skills. Lessons are taught by a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors, and are assisted by volunteers. Lesson plans are based on individual goals established by riders and their families and are offered in group, semi-private or private sessions.
To enroll in lessons, please email Nicole Pioli, Program and Volunteer Coordinator at email@example.com or visit our Participant Handbook.
Special Olympics Equestrian Team
Great Oak is home to the South Carolina Area-15 Equestrian team. 2018 was our inaugural season and the first time South Carolina hosted a state competition in over 7 years. Our team consists of 8 athletes, 3 certified Special Olympics Coaches and 12 Special Olympic Certified Volunteers. We are already looking forward to our 2019 competition.
Camps are a fun experience for all children and our campers leave each day experiencing, horsemanship activities, riding lessons, games, crafts and more! Campers arrive at 9:00 am and camp ends at noon.
Community Based Instruction and Field Trips
Community Based Instruction is a service that Great Oak is pleased to offer the students of Aiken County. In the 2017-2018 school year Great Oak hosted 24 students a week from three different high schools. The students work along side staff and volunteers to practice job skills that will increase their likelihood to obtain employment after graduation. Our students care for our GO Ponies, maintain our beautiful farm, and learn life skills while having fun!
In the 2018-2019 school year all Elementary and Middle school Special Education students came to Great Oak and enjoyed a day on the farm. Students learned about taking care of horses, participated in a scavenger hunt on our sensory trail and engaged in a leading activity with one of our GO Ponies.
Great Oak Assisted Life Skills
Great Oak Assisted Life Skills (GOALS) is a half day program that will meet three times per week. During our time working within the community we received consistent feedback that the young adults we serve needed a place to have meaningful experiences to obtain life and employment skills. With input from our participants and their families GOALS was created. This program will launch in March of 2020 and applications will be available in January.
Great Oak’s Silver Saddles are a group of mature women who seek to increase their balance, coordination, flexibility and strength while in the saddle. This program is taught by a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and is held throughout a 6 week program. Groups are limited to three riders and various times are available. This program begins June 5, 2019. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Groundwork Activity lessons are designed to focus on equestrian skills, such as horse care, grooming, leading, and lunging. Groundwork does not involve riding but seeks to further the student’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social development while interacting with our GO Ponies from the ground. Students who participate in our groundwork programs can expect increased confidence and to develop a special bond with our GO Ponies.
Great Oak’s Fun Fillies is an after school activity for young girls to develop communication strategies, problem solving skills, horsemanship, and teamwork. This equine-facilitated learning group is designed for 8-12 year old girls and occurs during a 10 week program. Most of the personal growth and development occurs on the ground while working with the horse, but the last two weeks the girls can expect to ride! For more information, please email email@example.com.
Interested participants should download our Participant Handbook. This document will answer many questions about available programs and the registration process. Once this has been submitted, Great Oak staff will reach you to schedule a screening.
Great Oak Aiken Therapeutic Riding Center strives to make our services available to all participants whose application for registration is accepted but cannot afford full tuition. Great Oak fulfills this mission through the generosity of our supporters.
Sponsor a Rider
Would you sponsor a rider? It is through your generosity that Great Oak can provide access to transformation healing by developing a community of acceptance and empowerment through therapeutic riding.Donate here.
Great Oak Ponies
Meet the equine stars of our programs, the Great Oak Ponies!