Winton Woods Riding Center Pilot Program – Special Olympics Classroom


Dee and I have worked for a while on the idea of Special Olympics Classroom- A curriculum of skill and strength building exercises that can be used on bad weather days throughout the year, and during the cold winter months.

classroom activities 3

For the past six Saturdays, for one hour and 15 minutes, a pilot group of six Special Olympics riders came each week to the Hayloft at Parky’s Farm (located next to the Winton Woods Riding Center). The classroom was designed around the Riding Center’s mechanical horse “Woody” and we added additional and necessary skills to practice. The athletes rotated through six stations each week, each station designed to improve skills that translate to the saddle. Depth perception, muscle coordination, core strength, balance and stretching exercises were all included.

Rachel on Woody strengthening core

What an inspiration! To see the progress over these last few weeks has been remarkable. This is an amazing program with the benefits to our athletes and the success far exceeds our original hopes.

Rachel Neumann, Winton Woods Riding Center Assistant Manager