The Variety 4-H Horseback Riding Program is a therapeutic as well as recreational program for children with cognitive and/or physical challenges.
For 46 years, the Variety 4-H Horseback Riding Program has provided essential equestrian therapy in eight-week sessions during three seasons at the Bloomfield Open Hunt Club. The program services approximately 150 children annually.
Three 8-week sessions are available in 2024 for children ages 5+ and are held on Monday evenings from 6:30 - 9:00 pm at The Bloomfield Open Hunt Club (405 E. Long Lake Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304).
Spring: April 2--May 20
Summer: June 3—July 29 (no class July 1)
Fall: August 12—October 7 (no class Labor Day)
To apply, forms and documentation from the child's physician are required. Class capacity is determined by the number of available horses. To register, or for more information about the program, the application process, and the benefits of such therapeutic recreation, please click HERE.
Under the guidance and leadership of trained instructors and volunteers, horseback riding provides an excellent form of physical and emotional therapy. Each child in the program is provided with the careful guidance and assistance of several volunteers to ensure a safe and productive experience.
The goal of the program is improved self-image for each rider. This is accomplished through reinforcing existing abilities and challenging riders to strive for greater achievements within the scope of each individual. Even the most reluctant rider soon discovers that the program is fun. Each session consists of riding instructions, exercise and games on horseback.
Parents of riders are enthusiastic in describing the physical progress and improved self-confidence in their children in riding therapy. Children in the program can benefit from motor, emotional, and sensory sensations that come with riding a horse. Additional benefits can include improved fine motor and gross motor skills, improved motor coordination and balance, core strengthening, developing or improving social skills, and positive sensory stimulation.
To learn more about your child’s eligibility for this program, please email Variety or call 248-258-5511. To begin the registration process, you may also email Carol Hilf at Carol.Hilf@yahoo.com or Mame Von Bargen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support this important therapeutic and recreational program, please consider a donation online (please note #4HRiding) or call 248-258-5511.