Recreational Therapy

Photo 2018-10-30, 11 16 18 AM

We can all use some guidance to improve our quality of life and find optimal physical and mental health through recreation, leisure and socialization opportunities. 

What is Recreational Therapy (RT)?

Recreational Therapy is a process that utilizes functional intervention, education and recreation participation to enable persons with physical, cognitive, emotional and/or social limitations to acquire and/or maintain the skills, knowledge and behaviours that will allow them to enjoy their leisure optimally, function independently with the least amount of assistance and participate as fully as possible in society.

A Recreation Therapist is specially trained in assessment and intervention planning towards goals that are recreation, leisure and/or life skills based for individuals with unique needs.

Recreational Therapists use recreation and leisure based activities to help individuals to:

  • Improve physical and cognitive abilities
  • Increase confidence and self-esteem
  • Strengthen interpersonal skills and relationships
  • Improve coping and adaptation skills
  • Enhance wellbeing
  • Encourage a greater sense of accomplishment
  • Realize the benefits of a healthy leisure lifestyle
  • Foster greater involvement in the community

Recreation Therapy at Hope Haven

Recreational Therapy (RT) at Hope Haven is offered under the umbrella of Equine Assisted Learning (EAL). Our Recreation Therapist (RT) uses EAL as one of their tools or activities when planning an individualized program, however they also are able to pull from other recreation, leisure and life skills based interventions.

All interventions or activities chosen are connected with our equines and their farm environment. For example, if an individual has a goal of increased independence with daily self care including areas of nutrition, hygiene and fitness, interventions could include learning how to care for a horse in these areas then relating them back to their own self care.

Who can register?

To work with our Recreation Therapist, please visit our EAL page to see the options for programs.


Need more information?

Please call 519-986-1247 and ask for Robyn, or email


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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Ian Hayes - Executive Director

Robyn Allen - Director of Operations & Physiotherapist

Kim Reain - Director of Events & Community Outreach

Michelle Lemire - Volunteer Coordinator

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

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

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

Shannon Speer - Recreation Coordinator (RT, EAPDC)

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

Alexis Murray - Instructor (EC Instructor of Beginners in training, Path Int. CTRI in training)

Dana Van Den Bergh - Instructor (EC Instructor of Beginners in training, Path Int. CTRI in training)

Laikyn West - Property Manager