Therapeutic Riding Program Brightens Lives

Our therapeutic riding program brightens the lives of participants with special needs, aged five to ninety-five, by providing opportunities to interact with horses, both on the ground and mounted.  Through thoughtful, professional and caring guidance in horsemanship and riding, participants discover and explore their abilities in a calm, safe and healing environment.

Benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT)

Equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) support physical, cognitive, emotional, and spiritual healing and growth.  Horses serve as “therapists” in this journey of exploration, facilitated by qualified, competent certified PATH Intl. riding instructors and a support team of committed, trained volunteers.  Our horses serve as resident “therapists,” and are seen by our participants as non-judgmental friends.

Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL)

When working with horses, participants are encouraged to draw conclusions and metaphors about how the experiences relate to their own lives. Participants learn from interacting with horses and the immediate, honest, observable, and physical feedback received in the process. Though this unique method of self-discovery, the development of confidence, empowerment, relationship skills, compassion, and independence can occur in a fun, non-threatening environment.

Equine Facilitated Learning is defined as a form of experiential education that includes equine(s). It may include, but is not limited to, a number of mutually beneficial equine activities such as handling, grooming, riding, driving and vaulting. EFL may be useful for people with psych-social issues and mental health needs that result in any significant variation in cognition, mood, judgment, insight, anxiety level, perception, social skills, communication, behavior or learning.


  • Learning about and practicing self-care
  • Reading and responding to body language
  • Sending accurate, authentic communication
  • Task completion
  • Following directions
  • Practicing healthy boundaries
  • Patience and frustration tolerance
  • Practicing teamwork
  • Leadership and assertiveness skills

EFL at LICHEN OAKS (contact us for more information)

  • After School program for ages 7-17
  • Couples’ workshops
  • Individual sessions
  • Groups for children, youth, and adults
  • Corporate events

Weekly lessons in 8-Week sessions

As a PATH Intl. Member Center serving the San Lorenzo Valley region and surrounding areas, we offer weekly lessons during our eight week sessions in our truly beautiful and modern Center.  Horsemanship and riding lessons are created and adapted with the participant’s stated goals driving the process, supported and shaped with input from the participant’s family, caregivers, and healthcare providers.  Each individual in our program engages in activities appropriate for developmental level, stamina, and need.

By providing opportunities to exceed limitations, Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center lights up faces with smiles of pleasure and a sense of accomplishment!