Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding program helps kids develop motor skills

Tucked into the lush fields of Clifton, Virginia there is a very special place where special children can spread their wings and fly.

It’s no ordinary therapeutic riding program. Special needs kids who can’t speak are learning how to use their voices at this Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding program.

Each session is led by either a physical therapist or speech therapist like Cathy Coleman.

“It's very motivating for the kids, much better than sitting in a therapy room,” Coleman says.

In order to help the children with their language and cognitive skills, Coleman must also strengthen their muscles and motor skills.

And that's where the horses come in. Developing balance and “motor planning” is useful in developing speech.

Four-year-old Michael Kilgore never got excited about going to therapy until this program.

And without the many volunteers - three for every rider - this program would not be possible.

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