THE JAMES S. BRADY THERAPEUTIC RIDING PROGRAM
Polo in the Park is the primary fundraiser to cover operating costs of the James S. Brady Therapeutic Riding Program, which provides horseback-riding and horsemanship lessons as a physical or psychological therapy alternative to children with autism, cerebral palsy, muscle weakness, sight and hearing impairment and learning disabilities in the Bay Area. By performing special therapeutic exercises on horseback, these children are able to strengthen muscle tone, improve balance, build hand-eye coordination, boost confidence and simply enjoy being a kid! Read more about the Brady Program.
The James S. Brady Therapeutic Riding Program has helped over 200 mentally and physically challenged children, under the direction of personnel certified and insured by the Equine Associated Growth and Learning Association. Each student takes part in a specially-designed program individually tailored to his or her needs. Children learn anatomy, grooming, horsemanship, and riding. Over time, they develop strong relationships with the horses and other riders. The “Brady Program” uses specially-trained Norwegian Fjord therapy horses at weekly lessons in Golden Gate Parkâ€™s Bercut Equitation Field.
The incredible efficacy of equine therapy becomes evident when you witness a child experiencing the joy of horses for the very first time. A child who could not do the things that you or I may take for granted â€“ walking, running, playing, or sitting up straight â€“ gets on a horses and suddenly has the ability to move with coordination and look down on the world from above! Students develop a love and respect for animals, better self-confidence, improved social skills and a general sense of normalcy. Caring for an animal allows children to take on challenges they may otherwise had never dreamed possible.
- Recognized by the Equine Associated Growth and Learning Association
- Certification of Recognition from the California Legislative Assembly
- Award and Honor from the City and County of San Francisco
For more information about the James S. Brady Therapeutic Riding Program, please click here.