To correctly select the appropriate horse, equipment, volunteer ‘team’ and instructor, we need to know as much as we can about prospective riders. Through simple techniques that are ‘fun’ for the rider, we can determine posture and alignment, strengths and weaknesses in legs, arms, core muscles, etc. We can determine the mode of learning, comfort zones, ability to focus, concentrate, and follow directions. Ability to ambulate, speak, and follow task analysis are also noted during the evaluation. Through effective evaluations, the evaluator can determine whether to use a smooth or trappy gaited horse, saddle or bareback pad with a surcingle or if the rider is more appropriate for a driving program. The evaluation also determines how many volunteers are required for the safety of the rider and horse, and which instructor might be right for the rider. In addition, exercises can be discussed along with individual short and long term goals to best meet the needs of the rider.
Sue Adams has a BS degree in education, is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, lifetime PATH Intl member, past member of the accreditation committee, past chair and advisor of the certification subcommittee, faculty/evaluator for the Registered Level Instructor Certification, apprentice for Advanced Instructor Certification, founder of Atlantic Riding Center for the Handicapped 1989-2010, co-founder of Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center (2011-present), article contributor to CHA and PATH Intl. magazines, equine assisted activities consultant and creator of PATH Intl. approved DEU and CEU workshops.