FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Q: Who can this help?
A: People with physical, neurological, behavioral, and emotional issues related to Brain Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Coordination Disorder, Developmental Disability, Dyspraxia, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Sensory Integration Disorder, autism and many others.
Q: What are the goals of equine assisted activities?
A: All Walk On participants are evaluated prior to admission to the program, at which time, goals for equine assisted activities are determined based on the specific needs of the individual. Goals may include, but are not limited to improving physical skills, cognitive skills, social and emotional development and behavior.
Q: How about a weight limit?
A: To protect our therapy horses, Walk On has a policy that limits the weight carried in a session. Each participant whose weight exceeds 175 pounds will be considered individually and evaluated to determine eligibility. This weight includes the rider as well as the weight of the saddle and tack.
Q: Is this safe?
A: Yes, Walk On utilizes several important safety practices:
- Each horse is screened to ensure the appropriateness of both the quality of movement and a good working temperament.
- Walk On enforces a number of humane policies including limiting horse work hours and limiting the amount of weight they carry.
- Instructors are are PATH Int'l (Professional Association for Theraputic Horsemanship International) certified and adhere to the medical guidelines set by PATH.
- When on the horse, all participants wear safety helmets.
- All participants start with a leader and two side walkers when riding.
Q: What about helmets?
A: Walk On is a PATH member center and is thus bound to follow their safety policies, including the mandatory use of ASTM-SEI approved helmets when on or near horses. Walk On encourages all participants to purchase their own helmets, for obvious health and safety purposes. Consult with the instructor regarding appropriate and approved safety helmets available.
Q: How does a participant get on to the horse?
A: Walk On has specially adapted equipment which enable the participant to be able to mount the horse, including an ADA accessible ramp, special lift, as well as adapted mounting blocks for those who need assistance.
Q: What are the age limits?
A: Walk On accepts children, adolescents and adults. All participants are evaluated prior to acceptance in the program. Children as young as 3years and adults into their senior years have all participated. The program is designed to meet the specific needs of the participant.
Q: How can we get started in the program?
A: If you are interested in being a participant in our program, go to the Home Page and click on “Participant Info”. Review the information and follow the instructions. After you have returned the completed registration paperwork to the Walk On office, you will be placed on the waiting list. We will contact you, when we have a vacancy, regarding availability and to set up the initial evaluation. If you have additional questions please call the Walk On office at (847) 381-4231.
Q: Do you use ponies or horses?
A: Walk On uses both ponies and horses in the program. The important aspect is that the equines possess the characteristics necessary for the program. The quality of movement a horse provides assists in making the riding experience more beneficial.
Q: What does it cost?
A: The initial evaluation is conducted by a licensed Occupational Therapist is $150. Subsequent evaluations are $75, necessary when there has been a change in medical status, after an absence of two trimesters, or upon the request of the instructor, physician, or parent/guardian. A written report is available after an evaluation.
Sessions vary in length from 6 weeks to 14 weeks. There are three sessions in a calendar year. Walk On offers private, semi-private and group lessons, whichever is appropriate for the specific participant.
Q: What is therapeutic driving?
A: Therapeutic driving helps with balance, upper body strength, visual perception, following directions and many other skill areas. Driving with a trained horse and a special carriage, is another way to enjoy equestrian activities for those who may be unable to ride due to current weight, the presence of riding precautions or contraindications, discomfort while riding, or simply because an individual wants to enjoy an outdoor activity of this type. Driving activities can even occur if you use a wheelchair as Walk On is able to transfer participants into the carriage with the use of a special lift. Driving occurs in a 1:1 lesson with a specially trained and NARHA certified driving instructor.
Q: How do I volunteer at Walk On?
A: If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at Walk On, go to the Home Page and click on “Volunteer Info”. Review the information and complete the registration paperwork. Orientation sessions are held twice monthy at the Walk On barn, bring the completed paperwork and participate in an orientation session to get your assignment.
Q: What about bad weather?
A: The Walk On program operates in a new and modern facility. The indoor arena is heated and therefore comfortable for riders in cold weather with appropriate clothing. Walk On will cancel lessons when the temperature is over 95 degrees at lesson time and if the temperature and humidity is deemed too extreme for participant and/or horse comfort. Walk On will cancel or shorten lessons due to threatening storm activity in the Barrington area. Every effort is made to notify participants in a timely manner.
Q: Is special clothing necessary?
A: The only special attire is the ASTM-SEI approved helmet. Dress for the weather. Participants are required to wear long pants/breeches for all mounted activities. No shorts of any kind are permitted. Hard soled shoes or gym shoes are required, no sandals are allowed in the stable area.
Q: Can we observe a riding session?
A: You are welcome to observe a participants riding lesson. All who observe must remain in the viewing room. All are asked to sign our Visitors Log and follow the posted rules. Please contact the instructor regarding confidentiality.
Q: How does Walk On support this program?
A: Walk On is a 501(c)(3) not for profit charitable organization. Although we collect fees from the participants, they only cover one third of the total cost for the program. Additional money is raised by holding charity events, accepting individual donations, requesting funds from foundations, corporations and other charitable sources. Walk On does not receive any support from the federal or state government.
Q: How do I get additional information?
A: Finish checking out our website or contact us!