Saddle Up For Success


What is Saddle Up For Success?

This is a research based program developed for elementary and high school students with disabilities and other diverse needs. Research shows that equestrian programming provides these students the opportunity to develop stronger self-confidence, self regulation and coping skills so they can better deal with emotions and behaviours related to anxiety, anger, fear, and frustration. Simply having horses present in the same environment has shown to increase social engagement and provide a positive platform for learning new skills.

Programmed and facilitated by our Recreation Therapist with assistance from our certified equestrian instructors and community of volunteers, the learning and experiential goals of each unique group will determine the activities planned for your Saddle Up For Success program.

**Note - this program does not involve mounted riding.**

Objectives of the Program

Through purposeful programming with horses, we will:

  • Build confidence and self-esteem
  • Develop team building skills
  • Encourage positive social interactions
  • Explore a variety of communication strategies
  • Explore emotions and behaviours
  • Promote outdoor experiential learning
  • Experience a sense of responsibility, respect and empathy towards other living things

Program Format

Groups of 8-12 students are identified by teachers or administration who could benefit from this program. Frequency of the program is one day a week for a consecutive 4-8 weeks. Below is an outline of the daily schedule.

9:50am          Arrival

10:00am     Experiential Equine Learning = Equine health, nutrition, management, communication, emotions - Correlations with human health and wellness.

11:15am         Break 1

11:30am      Equine Assisted Learning = Experiential approach to learning using unmounted work with horses - Covering all of our Program Objectives listed above.

12:30pm        Break 2

12:45pm     Outdoor Recreation = Adventure based learning activities such as exploring our Sensory Trail, environment and animal habitats, sensory based arts & crafts.

2:00pm          Departure

What is the cost?

All student fees have been generously sponsored through a variety of private donors. The only group cost may be transportation if a bus is required. We encourage schools to source out transportation sponsors such as local Rotary or Optimist clubs, private foundations or even local businesses.

How do you register?

The lead teacher will confirm the group participants, days and times. Well before the program starts, all participants must submit a completed Participant Application (by the parent/guardian) as well as a Professional Referral Form (completed by their classroom teacher or Educational Assistant). Links to these forms will be provided to the lead teacher once your group is confirmed.

Please contact Robyn Allen our Program Manager when you are ready to register or with any questions you may have. Office phone 519-986-1247 or email

We look forward to helping each student achieve success through a little equine magic!

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545747 Sideroad 4A, RR #2
Markdale, ON N0C 1H0

(t) 519-986-1247


Located on Sideroad 4a between
7th Line and 9th Line.

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Benoit Dube - Executive Director

Kim Reain - Development Officer

Robyn Allen - Program Manager & Physiotherapist

Michelle Lemire - Volunteer Coordinator

Emma Houser - Program Administrator & Instructor (PATH Int. CTRI, EC Instructor of Beginners)

Danielle Rose - Equine Manager & Instructor (PATH Int. CTRI, EC Competition Coach)

Gillian MacNeill - Instructor (CanTRA CTRII, PATH Int. CTRI)

Shannon Speer - Recreational Therapist & Equine Assisted Personal Development Coach

Gretel Stanish - Instructor (Path Int. CTRI, EAPDC)

Alexis Murray - Instructor (EC Instructor of Beginners in Training)

Laikyn West - Property Manager