More than 300 J F Shea Therapeutic Riding Center friends and family gathered for the center’s annual Back to Shea Day that kicked off the official 2018 riding season. Dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programs, the center has added something new: Convaid | R82.
Convaid | R82 helped kick off the year’s riding season by providing a showcase of mobility, seating, standing, walking, transportation, hygiene and transfer products during the day-long Back to Shea event. Toward the end of 2017, Convaid | R82 provided the center with a number of R82 standers, walkers, gait trainers, a Convaid Cruiser wheelchair and a Molift Smart 150, a foldable in one piece transfer unit that does not require tools for use that can be easily transported and used in narrow spaces – such as hoisting a larger child or youth onto a horse.
Accredited at the “premier” level by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International, the Shea Center is internationally recognized for its excellence in therapeutic programs where hippotherapy is augmented with traditional physical therapies such as those augmented by Convaid | R82 products. The Center provides more than 12,000 hours of client services annually utilizing 22 horses and the assistance of more than 800 community volunteers and a team consists of 23 full-time and 15 part-time and contract staff members.
Physical therapists at the Shea Center report that they have already seen improvements in many of their clients as a result of inclusion of Convaid | R82 products into their physical therapy sessions. Over 80 distinct disabilities are addressed serving people with disabilities with a variety of programs that include physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
Next month, Convaid | R82 will participate in the center’s Drive to Ride fundraiser with the donation of a Convaid or R82 product that will be raffled to help raise the $130,000 goal they have set for next month’s initiative.
The equestrian facilities at The Shea Center include a barn with 40 open stalls, three tack rooms, a barn that also houses a workshop, storage areas, laundry facilities, and restrooms. There are two covered arenas, two open arenas, two round pens, two turnout pens, and a motorized Euro walker. The arena footing is a silica and sand combination with GGT Fiber for shock absorption. A woodchip riding trail, located behind the Center, provides a nature riding experience.
Horses used in a therapy setting have received substantial specialized training in order to optimize the movement quality transmitted to the client. The movement of the horse is multi-dimensional and provides simulation of a normal walking pattern.