The therapeutic horsemanship program uses 20 horses to provide opportunities children and adults with physical or intellectual disabilities of all ages to experience the joy and therapeutic benefits of riding horses. This therapeutic practice, along with a variety of farm animals at the barn, encourage social interaction and speech development in riders of all ages.
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certified instructors lead individual and small group lessons with the assistance of trained volunteers. Students can begin riding as early as four years of age and participate in events such as Special Olympics, horse shows, and summer camps.
My daughter’s greatest challenge was her weakness and endurance. Getting her on a horse was the best thing we could have done to help her build core strength and balance. She is now walking by herself, she looks wonderful inside and out, and she enjoys her time so much that we count the number of “wake-ups” until the next lesson at the Hanson Center.
In lessons, instructors match students with others who share the same level of experience. We offer seven sessions a year, each six weeks long. Fees vary based on the type of lessons: private, semi-private, group, or a five-week course for our youngest riders called “Short-in-the-Saddle.”
The Hanson Center is proud to partner with the Wounded Warrior program, special recreation associations, schools for children with disabilities, transitional programs for young adults, and adult living centers.
As a Premier Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International accredited center, the Hanson Center provides year-round riding lessons in a heated indoor riding facility, an outdoor arena, and riding trails across 12 beautiful acres in Burr Ridge.
Sponsor A Horse
It costs an average of $2,500 each year to care for every one of our therapy horses. Please help us provide the best therapy for people with disabilities by sponsoring a horse or a routine need at the barn. If you’re interested, you can donate online by selecting the “Sponsor A Horse” fund or emailing the Hanson Center offices.
Are you looking for a fun and rewarding volunteer activity? Come and help with the therapeutic horsemanship program at the Hanson Center in Burr Ridge. No experience necessary! Our center works with riders with disabilities of all ages and skill levels. “My love of horses brought me to the Hanson Center. The benefits to the riders, the friendships with other volunteers, and the caring for the animals are some of the positives that I look forward to every week,” said volunteer Mimi Skala.
- At least 13 years old
- Attend a two hour training orientation covering COVID-19 protocols, horse grooming, tacking and leading horses.
- Enjoy interacting with people and animals
- Able to walk alongside the horses in varied weather conditions
- Fill out online volunteer application
If you have questions about volunteering, please email the Hanson Center offices or call 630-325-5330.
We’re happy to answer your questions! Email the Hanson Center offices or call 630-325-5330.