CKRH provides services that improve the quality of life and health for children and adults with special physical, cognitive, emotional, and social needs through therapeutic activities with the horse. These activities are facilitated by our staff of highly trained Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors (CTRIs), educators, and therapists. CKRH takes great pride in offering programming across the lifespan and we find that individuals from all backgrounds can benefit from interaction with our equine partners. CKRH provides our services through a combination of individual connections and community partnerships in a variety of areas.
CKRH offers the following programs
Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship for individuals with special medical needs, physical and cognitive disabilities
Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship for individuals with mental health diagnosis
Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship for individuals with learning disabilities
Therapeutic Riding and Horsemanship for Veterans and Military Service
Charlotte Hiler Easley Counseling, Helping Women Thrive
Vocational Skills Training
Therapeutic Horsemanship is the cornerstone of our equine assisted services programming. These services can be provided in both mounted and unmounted capacities, serving individuals with a variety of deficits or diagnoses. The intent of these activities is to learn the tasks associated with riding, caring for and working with horses, with whatever adaptations, modifications or supports may be necessary to facilitate the success and independence of the participant. Sometimes these supports are obvious in the form of volunteers or physical equipment. Sometimes the supports are ingrained in the training and demeanor of our horses. Sometimes the supports are a component of the instructional style in which the lessons are taught. Therapeutic horsemanship programming is instructed by the CTRIs and Instructors in Training on our staff.
Clinical Therapy utilizing equine movement as a therapy modality, also known as hippotherapy, is another facet of our equine assisted services repertoire. These services specifically utilize the movement of the horse as a therapy tool to facilitate goal attainment for clients. These clients go through a formal evaluation, receive treatment, and complete re-evaluations, just as they would in a traditional therapy setting, we just get to use a horse as our highly effective therapy tool. These services can be provided by an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, or Speech Language Pathologist who has achieved certification through the American Hippotherapy Association with the support of a CTRI.
Military Programming is a unique service facilitated by CKRH. Many of the veterans and active-duty personnel that reach out to CKRH can fit into one of our other programs, however, their support need is compounded by concerns specific to those who have served. We tailor programs to meet the needs of those individuals, while still challenging and facilitating the spirit that brought them to a place of service initially. CKRH currently maintains working partnerships with the Kentucky National Guard and several local veterans’ organizations.
Vocational Training is a facet of our equine-assisted learning program that specifically supports the learning of employment-related skills that can support individuals in a successful transition to the workforce. While the surface-level skills taught are focused on employment in an equine-related field, the foundational skills necessary for all jobs can be facilitated in this environment as well. Through the highly motivational aspects of engagement with our equine partners, we can facilitate engagement in executive functioning, social interaction, self-care, energy conservation, and management, all components necessary for successful employment in any field. These services are overseen by a CTRI but can be facilitated by any member of the staff to support engagement in the chosen tasks of the participant.
Charlotte Hiler Easley LCSW, ESMHL is a licensed clinical social worker with a private practice working with women and women’s issues located on the grounds of CKRH. She provides individual and group traditional and equine assisted sessions, consulting on trauma informed equine assisted work and programming. Charlotte is certified with the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) and as a PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She is trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Brainspotting and is certified Equine Assisted EMDR. Charlotte and CKRH have partnered in providing non-mounted equine assisted learning and psychotherapy services for over 6 years.
Equine Assisted Learning is one of the largest service areas in which CKRH and our community partners come together. CKRH houses a Fayette County Public School, The STABLES. In addition to their traditional classroom learning, the students at The STABLES have the opportunity to be involved in the day-to-day operations of the facility. FCPS instructors and CKRH staff assigned to the instruction of this program often use the environment of the barn and the daily needs of our horse herd to supplement or clarify knowledge gained in the classroom. The students in this program are in grades 8 through 12 and are often referred due to lack of success in other traditional learning environments. In addition to our school-based equine-assisted learning programming, we also partner with other community organizations to utilize our equine partners to facilitate learning. Equine Assisted Learning activities are facilitated by trained educators.
Another of our long-standing partnership programs is EASTT, or Equine Assisted Survivors of Trauma Therapy. This program combines psychoeducation and equine-assisted activities to address symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, depression, and relationship issues common for survivors of sexual trauma. The environment and the horse partnership framework allow participants to practice and learn new life skills while promoting self-awareness and relationship building. This program is provided in partnership with Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center. EASTT sessions are facilitated by CTRIs, staff members with their Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) Certification or trained educators.
Summer programming at CKRH allow us to combine many of our service areas. The IRIDE program is an inhouse summer program for young ladies who are struggling with the mental, physical, cognitive, and emotional components of maturing. This program combines our equine assisted learning and therapeutic horsemanship programs into a dynamic tool to facilitate growth and change in young women. Our other primary summer offering, Bluegrass Horseability, is supported by a partnership with Easter Seals Cardinal Hill. Through this partnership CKRH can provide a summer camp experience for participants who may require specialized medical, behavioral, cognitive, or emotional supports. The program is staffed by medical professionals and students in programs related to therapy, special education, counseling or similar. Through this partnership, participants can engage in a traditional camp experience complete with water fights, horseback riding, hiking and tie-dyed t-shirts, while being supported in a manner that facilitates their success and independence.
CKRH service eligibility is based upon the presence of a physical, behavioral, cognitive, psychosocial, or learning-related diagnosis. While a diagnosis gets a rider into the door, our programming success is based on maximizing function and engagement, so the focus of our instructional staff is on the many ways in which adaptation, modification, and grading can occur to facilitate success in the tasks presented to our clients. Just a few of the many areas our instructors address are mobility, strength, behavior, cognition, and social engagement.