Haven Horse Ranch

 Making Memories that last a lifetime!

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Haven Horse Ranch provides equine-assisted health care, which has a different goal than that of recreational therapy. It includes, for example, 78 specific steps provided in a one-on-one setting for intervening with children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. We receive our referrals from Brooks Rehabilitation, University of Florida Medical Center, pediatricians, neurologists, physical, occupational, behavioral and speech therapists, St Johns County Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and Early Childhood Intervention administrators. We also receive many referrals from parents who have seen the benefits of our program for their children with disabilities and are eager to share this resource with other parents. For more information on our program for the disabled, click here.

More than 700 centers in the United States provide recreational therapy, typically in group lessons. Most provide hippo therapy which is provided by occupational or physical therapists using the horse as a modality. A smaller number provide equine facilitated mental health, using the horse to foster relationship building and problem solving.

Our mission for this program is, "To Assist Each Person with Special Needs in Reaching Their Full Potential through Interaction with Horses, and to provide A kind, rewarding home for older horses and ponies, loving care, and proper burial on our ranch when they pass on."

Haven Horse Ranch Therapeutic provides therapeutic horseback riding services to children and adults at our facility in St. Augustine, just south of Jacksonville, Florida. Together with SpiritHorse Centers we serve those with special needs at centers around the world. We currently serve more children than any center in the world. We are unique in that Haven Horse Ranch is part of the only large center in America that provides all private therapeutic horseback riding services free of charge in our four programs: Disabilities, Children who are Victims of Abuse/Violence, and At-Risk Youth, Battered Women, and Youth After-Drug Rehab. We also have and work with many children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum Disorder.  For more information on Spirithorse International, click here.

Therapeutic Riding

Haven Horse Ranch provides the only child development services some of our children will ever receive. We teach many things taught in the school systems to typical kids. For example, we teach those diagnosed with autism how to focus and stay on a specific task through having leading, grooming, and tacking up as part of the lesson. We have seen miraculous breakthroughs with our children when they start performing these tasks. For more information on our Autism program, click here.

A major Haven Horse Ranch goal is to advance knowledge and develop more effective equine-assisted therapy methods for all types of disabilities, and share these methods worldwide.

Championing the use of retired horses and ponies is also a major goal at Haven Horse Ranch. These horses are ideal for this type of work because they have had years of professional training and show experience. These schoolmasters are the safest mounts for children with disabilities. Since most of the work is walking and our children cannot ride for very long, it's not really much more work than walking around the pastures where they live 24/7. Our horses and ponies love their work.

We believe horses and ponies have the most accessible spirit of almost any creature and the vast majority have very beautiful spirits. They have one advantage over humans in that they do not have an ego to get in the way of their relationships. We also believe that children with disabilities have very accessible and beautiful spirits. We believe that this spiritual connection is what makes this intervention work. They have their wings waiting for them in heaven, indeed.

If you would like to make a donation to our therapy program, please click here.

It’s about so much more than riding a horse!

I want to help!

*Until further notice means you must notify us 30 days in advance to stop payment


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