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Asheville Academy - Therapeutic Boarding School for Girls 10 - 14 Years Old
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How do equine therapy programs work at Asheville Academy?

How does equine therapy work at Asheville Academy?

Each girl, guided by the Clinical Department at Asheville Academy, has the opportunity to participate in equine programming. Participation may be based on interest, therapeutic standing, or medical need.

Our Equine Programming choices consist of:

  • Individual Equine Therapy Sessions (1x a week or every other week)
  • Family Equine Therapy Sessions (as directed by the Therapist)
  • Equine Therapy Group (1x a week as directed by the Therapist)
  • Volunteerism (up to 2x a week on campus or 2x a year at Biltmore Equestrian Center Fund Raising Events for residents in good program standing)

Horsemanship Program on Campus

Qualified students participate in the horsemanship program on campus. Run by the PATH International certified equine specialist, students learn valuable life skills that can be used in all aspects of their life. 

Horsemanship teaches participants skills and knowledge of horse health and care; knowledge of breeds, color, conformation, temperament, grooming, equipment and tacking up a horse, natural horse handling skills, feeding, medicating, first aid, blanketing and more.

During community service hours, students can practice horsemanship skills regardless of their placement in the horsemanship program.

Philosophy of Our Equine Therapy Programs 

Asheville Academy believes in the fair and responsible treatment of all animals and considers horses to be sentient beings. As a program, we follow the PATH International standard of care and safety.

“We protect the horse from harm and do not place or stage horses in an environment that could elicit a fear or stress response in hopes of benefitting the client”.

Asheville Academy does not use the horse as a tool, metaphor, or mirror to drive a particular therapeutic outcome or result. We honor the horse’s innate ability to keep themselves safe. Participants in our equine programs learn safety through sharing their environment and the care given in their relationship with another species.

The Barn Manager and the PATH Intl. trained Equine Specialist evaluates horses participating in all equine programs according to the standards outlined by PATH Intl. Horses are assessed before activities to be sound and healthy and exhibit an attitude that would be conducive to a beneficial and rewarding experience for our residents and horses. Students are assessed for placement in Equine Therapy programs and/or Horsemanship community service groups.