top of page

Our Programs


If anything should be said about G.R.A.C.E.’s equestrian programs is that they have been, and remain, at the heart of many healing miracles over the years, both big and small, if not long-lasting altogether for our riders and, of course, for their families.


Riding a horse under professional guidance and with personalized support helps make the therapy fun if not exciting while motivating a child to become engaged. 


Equine therapy is highly beneficial to children with autism, for instance, and in cases such as these, it contributes to developing natural, core skills a child needs to better function socially.


Here are just a few examples of success stories that our experienced staff, generous volunteers and caring horses have contributed to, and of which we are all particularly proud:

"As the parent of a child riding at G.R.A.C.E., I have witnessed over the past several years, an improvement in our son's sense of balance and perseverance with a task. Therapeutic riding has enabled him to feel comfortable with taking risks. He enjoys not only interacting with the horse but also with the volunteer leader and side walkers, not to mention the other riders. This experience has created meaningful relationships that can be everlasting at the same time

providing various degrees of therapy-all in one program. He experiences a sense of freedom that he would not necessarily have in everyday living and that feeling can put a smile on his face that comes from deep inside." - Aunalea Cruickshank


So clearly, therapeutic riding benefits individuals of all ages who deal on a daily basis with a wide range of challenges, be they cognitive, physical, emotional, social or a combination thereof. 


Horseback riding lends a sense of independence and mobility to a person with disabilities who may otherwise be restricted. Such a practice rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait. Among the proven benefits are:



  • Improve concentration and attention span

  • Decision making and problem solving

  • Patience, judgement, and memory


  • Development of flexibility, mobility, balance and co-ordination

  • Improvement of muscle tone and strength

  • Increased muscular strength, control and improved posture

  • Increased range of motion of joints; stretching of tight or spastic muscles

  • Increased endurance and low-level cardiovascular conditioning

  • Improved visual-spatial perception and improved gross and fine motor skills



  • Improved self-confidence, self-esteem, self-image and motivation

  • Development of patience, emotional control and self-discipline

  • Socialization and improved interpersonal skills 



  • Self-control and social motivation

  • Increased confidence, trust, leadership, and assertiveness

  • Developing increased concentration and attention

  • Improved communication with others.

Therapeutic riding touches upon a host of areas such as human health, education, sports, recreation, leisure, and much more.


G.R.A.C.E. is a member of the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA), a registered Canadian charity that promotes challenge, achievement and empowerment for children and adults with disabilities through the use of the horse. CanTRA also provides education and instructor certification.

hippo sandra 1.jpg


Hippotherapy is a type of therapy used within the scope of practice for Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists and Speech and Language Pathologists. Therapists use the purposeful movement of the horse to engage sensory, neuromotor and cognitive systems to achieve functional outcomes and goals and is part of a patient' s care plan.
The horse' s movement provides unique experiences to the patient. The multi-dimensional movement of the horse produces pelvic and spinal movement in the patient that is similar in ratio to the multi-dimensional movement required in human gait. The horse' s movement provides a repetitive, predictable and symmetrical, dynamic surface on which the patient can develop and practice postural control and balance.

Hippotherapy affects many different systems in our bodies:

  • motor

  • musculoskeletal

  • nervous

  • limbic

  • respiratory

  • circulatory

  • sensory processing

  • speech-language

  • cognition

It also provides opportunities for patients to experience visual flow, vestibular input as well as developing relationships, and enjoyment of animal contact.

Information provided by 

Sandra  Hall Physiotherapy


General Information: | (519) 372-2721

Program Inquires:
Aunalea Cruickshank | 519-371-6539

E-transfer payments can be made to

Farm Address:
223047 Grey Road 17B,
Owen Sound, ON

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 992,
Owen Sound, ON, N4K 6H6

bottom of page