top of page
What Is Equine-Assisted Therapy?

Horses and domesticated animals have been used as a medical treatment since the second century. Equine-assisted activities and therapies are designed for people with disabilities or diverse needs. 


PATH® International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) defines therapeutic riding as, "an equine-assisted activity for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with special needs. Therapeutic riding provides benefits in the areas of health, education, sport, and recreation and leisure".

Because of a horse's physiology, horses mimic the pelvic movement of humans. Because of their status as a prey animal, they can pick up on our 'emotions' with their highly developed ability to tune in to the world around them Currently, there are 26 medical uses for horses to help in the treatment of orthopedic, neurological, learning, speech, psychological, and even working with victims of physical and sexual abuse.  

There are well-documented benefits for physical, cognitive, and emotional health using the types of equine-assisted programs we offer at Tri-State.

About Our Programs

Read through our program overviews based on the type of participant, and see what might work best for you.  Call 423-476-9310 or email us for rates and availability. All participants are required to fill out Registration Forms and Liability Waivers. For all participant forms, please click here.

Our programs

Reinbow Riders

This is our general therapeutic riding program, and can help work on fine/gross motor skills, sensory processing, following directions, balance and much more. In this program, the focus is on providing positive cognitive, emotional, and recreational experiences to those with different abilities. We offer riding lessons adapted to the needs of the rider to help them reach riding and life goals.  

This program is best suited for those who want to work on fine motor skills, balance, sensory processing, social skills,  problem-solving, responsibility, following directions, and other goals. Ages: 4+

Reinbow Rehabilitation

This therapeutic program offers pediatric physical therapy services in conjunction with therapists from The Speech & Hearing Center of Chattanooga. The Physical Therapist (PT) will concentrate on the child's movement goals and create specific exercise interventions to improve the way your child moves, in coordination with riding the horse to improve balance, core strength, and flexibility.


Reinbow Rehabilitation is best suited for children who need to acquire, rebuild and develop skills that lead

to a life of greater independence and happiness. We work with children living with all types of special needs. Ages: 4 years+ through 18 years. This program only meets Mondays and Wednesdays. Most major insurances are accepted

Taking The Lead

This is a program for at-risk youth and their families that provides the tools they need to achieve their goals. It is a non-riding group therapy program. In this program, you will literally take the lead and discover more about yourself and others as you work with your horse. Best suited for those needing trauma-focused work or DBl, but may prefer an environment outside of an office.

Taking the Lead is generally organized through in/out-patient programs, schools, or referrals, and works in conjunction with clinical therapy. Please call for rates or to discuss the plan in more detail.

Mindful Riding

This program aims to increase confidence, self-esteem, friendships, and responsibility. Horses are therapeutic for anyone, and there is no doubt horses contribute to character building. 

Our compassionate and skilled trainers help riders set appropriate goals. By setting the rider up for success, our Mindful Riding program helps build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of responsibility. Riders become a part of our close-knit barn family, feel at home and have a sense of belonging when they are here. Horse Show opportunities are a chance to test one's confidence, work through anxieties, and feel like part of a team. 

Best for children or adults who are working to manage feelings of introversion and anxiety or improve their self-esteem. Some of our participants include those who just need a little extra time or a different method of explanation to process information, or who struggle to make friends. They may not be comfortable in other recreational programs or sports. 


para dressage athlete

"This remarkable young woman was an able-bodied rider her whole life, and then the unthinkable happened when she underwent a triple amputation.
 But she is unstoppable - her goal is to compete at the Olympic level for para dressage and is well on her way in the classification progress. Jessica clearly faces emotional battles and her horse Albert and Tristate Therapeutic Riding Center creates calm in the storm."


a journey to self awareness

"The girls worked through our Taking the Lead program learning skills such as trust, boundaries and honesty, communication, forgiveness, teamwork, sensitivity and consideration. During a session, one sister realized the horse felt unsafe and needed affirmation and patience from her so he could relax and trust her to overcome something scary and challenging. As we walked back to the barn she articulated how similar struggles affect her relationship with her sister and adopted mom and how she sees how her actions need to change."


teen boy learning to succeed

“I learned that Stinky (horse) is really stubborn, and he is just like me.
 “It was really rewarding when he finally listened to what I was trying to get him to do and I felt accomplished.” 
bottom of page