Group and Private Lessons
Heartland Horse Heroes offers therapeutic horseback riding opportunities at Sprouse's Corner Ranch in Buckingham, VA. Lessons are conducted by a PATH Certified Instructor and the facility has met the criteria to maintain status as a PATH Accredited Center.
A PATH certified instructor will guide the lesson that is designed for the specific needs of each rider, the lessons are on a weekly basis and last about one hour. During that lesson the rider will be instructed on horsemanship, grooming, tacking and mounted skills. The skills addressed each week are determined by the rider's capabilities and their assigned instructor; our primary goal at Heartland Horse Heroes is to move each rider towards greater independence, and support their individual dreams and goals.
Heartland Horse Heroes partners with Buckingham County schools and Cumberland County Public Schools to offer a ten week learning program in the spring and fall. During the sessions, students visit Sprouse's Corner Ranch to improve their riding skills and their overall horsemanship. Some weekly topics include barn safety, horse tack, grooming techniques, and more.
Transition to Work Program
Programs are available for young adults transitioning to the workplace. Please contact us for more information.
At-Risk Youth Program
Students typically come for 1.5 to 2 hours, and do classroom learning, hands-on stable management, horsemanship safety and riding. For our At-Risk Youth groups, the hands-on horsemanship and riding aspects are a privilege that the students must earn from behavior and participation in their other activities here at the Ranch, at school or at home, depending on the needs of the participant.
Who Can Participate?
Lessons are available to persons who are challenged by a disability. This includes a physical, mental or emotional disability diagnosed by a physician or any person who is facing or has faced and been treated for terminal illness within the last 3 years. Eligibility also includes persons who are socially challenged, meaning they have been under supervision by CPS, APS, or are living in foster care or have lived in foster care within the past 3 years, or are a person living in a shelter to escape domestic violence, or have lived in such a shelter within the past 3 years.
Prior to starting lessons, each rider will be given an assessment by a team of PATH certified instructors. During the assessment, which usually lasts about 30 minutes, the team evaluates the capabilities and needs of the rider as well as safe techniques for mounting and dismounting. Choices for tack or adapted equipment, helmet fit, volunteer needs and proper horse assignments will also be determined during this time. Before the assessment, all paperwork (application, physician’s statement, waiver and emergency medical consent form) must be completed. Once a student has started lessons, their progress is monitored weekly and documented by their assigned instructor.
Many of our volunteers for programs come from Longwood College Therapeutic Recreation department or the Longwood College Speech, Learning and Hearing Services.