True Strides Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Where therapy is fun, goals are reached… And dreams become reality
TS Main

Outcomes of a Therapeutic Riding Program

Read more about Lily’s journey here.

True Strides works with both children and adults with a variety of disabilities including autism, MS, Cerebral Palsy, ADD/ADHD and developmental disabilities. Staff utilizes games that encourage reflex integration and sensory motor integration all while the child is happy and moving through space in a 3 dimensional pattern resulting in muscle strengthening, balance, and growth of new neurological connections.

For Example:

  • + All fours position on the horse replicates crawling and assists in reflex integration and neurological development.
  • + Sitting trot develops core strength, leg strength, balance and facilitates neurological development. It allows the child to develop a midline orientation.
  • + Volleyball with rotation encourages balance and segmentation with rotation needed for motor planning. This also strengthens the lateral obliques.
  • + Reaching across midline while moving facilitates the brain to develop new connections for independent midline crossing.
  • + Posting in English saddle promotes higher level of motor planning as student must stay centered, keeping heels down and complete a rhythmic pattern.
  • + These activities provide what the brain needs to develop and are exactly what the child yearns for. Participation and decreased behaviors arise because the child’s needs are being neurologically met.

What is it?

We Provide:

  1. Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding
  2. One-on-one, hour-long sessions with a therapist
  3. Long and short-term goals, treatment plans and biweekly progress reports
  4. Re-evaluation every eight weeks
  5. Goal-oriented, fun, top quality therapy service

For individuals with:

  • – ADD/ADHD
  • – Autism
  • – Cerebral Palsy
  • – Developmental delays
  • – Down syndrome
  • – Multiple Sclerosis
  • – Muscle and nervous system disorders
  • – Sensory integrations dysfunction
  • – Speech dysfunction
  • – Spinal cord injuries
  • – Visual and hearing impairments
  • – Other disorders and injuries

At our Camp Courage location, featuring:

    • – Heated indoor arena
    • – Large pastures and paddocks
    • – Large activity room
    • – Riding trails


IMG_0348 - CopyHippotherapy is occupational or physical therapy that utilizes a horse in the treatment

Focus: Developmental skills, fundamental skills, quality of movement, skills for performance outside the arena

Treatment / Physical Benefits

      • Midline orientation
      • Shoulder/hip stabilization
      • Head/trunk control
      • Bilateral coordination
      • Dissociation of head from trunk or arms from trunk
      • Changing tone/spasticity
      • Respiratory function
      • Develop functional gait
      • Sensory integration dysfunction
      • Develop functional speech/language skills
      • Oral motor function
      • Improve multi-system processing
      • Affect all body systems

Psychological Benefits:

      • Improves self-esteem, confidence and motivation
      • Increases attention span
      • Has the positive effect of human animal bonding

If you have any questions about hippotherapy, please call or email to set up your free consultation.

Therapeutic Riding
Therapeutic riding is interaction with and control of a horse or pony that builds strength while improving balance, coordination, confidence and self-esteem

Focus: Riding and controlling the horse independently for sport, recreation and education

Treatment / Physical Benefits

        • Follow directions, verbal, tactile and visual cues
        • Safety/environmental awareness
        • Motor planning and sequencing
        • Coordination and balance in accordance with riding
        • Communicating with the horse
        • Cognitive planning and pre-planning
        • Orientation to sitting on center of horse
        • Self-esteem building
        • Leisure awareness (skill building)
        • Emotional and behavioral issues
        • Endurance and mobility
        • Muscle stretching and strengthening

Psychological Benefits

        • Improves self-esteem, confidence and motivation
        • Increases attention span
        • Has the positive effect of human animal bonding

If you have any questions about therapeutic riding, please call or email to set up your free consultation.

Horsemanship Experiences at Camp

Week 1 2014 Horsing Around Neal Harnett (ok) (4)True Strides provides opportunities for individuals of all abilities to experience exceptional equine-assisted activities by facilitating the Horsing Around camp programs and special respite programming.

To see our complete listing of camp sessions, including the True Strides sessions, please visit our camp page. If you have questions about a True Strides session, you can contact our registration team at 952.852.0101 or via email.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteering at True Strides has many different faces. One could be a side walker, horse leader, tack cleaner, stall cleaner or horse groomer or our critical game player. These positions will depend upon your comfort level, experience and desire to learn, and we will train you and make sure the position fits you!

Our riding lessons rely heavily on volunteer support and thus we ask volunteers to commit to at least two 3-hour sessions per month for three months or more. For Summer lessons, preference will be given to volunteers who can commit to one session per week June – August.

Volunteers are required to be at least 16 years of age and attend an annual in-person training at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, MN.

Complete an application form and a member of the Volunteer Services Department will contact you via phone to discuss the opportunity.

Ready? Set! Apply…

Online Volunteer Application

Contact our Volunteer Services Department via phone at 952-852-0101 ext 399 or email

Participant Story: Maddie

Click the picture or Read Maddie’s story!

Contact Us

Camp Courage
8046 83rd St NW, Maple Lake MN 55358

Shari Mangas, Director
American Hippotherapy Certified Occupational Therapist, PATH Certified Instructor
Phone: 952.852.0126
Cell: 763.360.4117

Learn about our policies here.

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