Talbot Special Riders, Inc. (TSR), a non-profit I.R.S. 501(c)3 organization, is a therapeutic horseback riding program providing therapy for physically, mentally and emotionally challenged individuals. Founded in 1981, it is the only program of its kind in Talbot County, Maryland. The entire program is run by a dedicated group of volunteers.
The program’s goal is to build confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of accomplishment. Riders also improve their attention span and their ability to follow directions. We work on coordination and spatial relationships as well as stretching and strengthening exercises. It is rewarding to see the progress that the riders make. Whatever the progress, it is a wonderful experience for the riders. The volunteers gain a great satisfaction in helping others.
The benefits of Therapeutic Riding Include:
- Increased tolerance for frustration
- Teamwork and problem-solving practice
- Bonding with an animal and companions
- Improved self-esteem & motivation
- Development of mutual trust
- Awareness of hidden abilities
- Improved attention, communication, and interpersonal skills
- A sense of accomplishment applicable to other activities in life
In addition to Therapeutic Riding, TSR offers Hippotherapy, a treatment technique used by our occupational therapist to improve balance, coordination, muscle strengthening, motor planning and sensory processing. The movement of the horse is what is most important and the goals are similar to those used in a traditional medical facility. The therapist does not teach riding skills, rather she focuses on the individual’s needs and selects exercises and activities to meet those needs.
In order to further fulfill the TSR mission, the TSR Board has explored expanding the programs to additional weekdays and possible weekends. Discussions with Glendale Farms and the Glendale Riding School indicated that they were unable to provide TSR with any additional time slots. The Board decided on May 2, 2016 to move the TSR programs to Timbergrove Farm in Preston, MD. which is owned by Kim Hopkins, a TSR certified PATH instructor. The move was accomplished over the summer, 2016, with sessions starting at Timbergrove Farm in the Fall 2016.