In addition to individual therapeutic riding lessons, Lovelane offers a variety of engaging, fun unmounted programs throughout the year. All of our unmounted programs are integrated and open to students with and without disabilities. Please click on the links below to learn more about each program:
- Carrot Club: for our youngest students, ages 3 – 6, focused on social skills
- Barn Buddies: for students ages 4+, focused on horse care and developing physical, emotional, and social growth
- Horse Care Academy: for teens and young adults, focused on horse care, building confidence and functional life skills
- Find Your Stride: for young adults, focused on social skills, self-advocacy, independent living, and occupational skills
- Spur Outstanding Leaders (SOL): for teens and young adults, focused on building leadership skills
- Private Unmounted Sessions: for students of all ages, designed for their individual needs & goals
For More Information
For more information, please contact the Program Director, Cassie Clarke:
Unmounted Horsemanship Frequently Asked Questions
At this time Lovelane does not have funds available to provide tuition assistance for our unmounted programs.
We encourage you to reach out to our program director, Cassie Clarke, and schedule a visit to the barn so we can work together to determine which program your child would benefit most from. Cassie may be reached by email, Cassie@lovelane.org, or by phone, 781-259-1177 x34.
Yes! All of our unmounted programs are integrated and open to students with and without disabilities. Our philosophy is that horses allow all people to develop confidence, compassion, and communication skills. Our inclusive unmounted programs are a great way for all students to start or continue their horse journey in a welcoming and supportive environment.
One activity that is used to address many areas and goals is grooming a horse. This is a special time for the student to give love and attention to a horse and deepen the connection they feel for that exceptional friend. Beyond this obvious emotional benefit, grooming also helps students work on gaining body awareness and practice sequencing and motor planning. Another example is making grain. While students are having fun making dinner for the horses, they are also working on improving reading skills, learning fractions, paying attention to detail, and following a list. A favorite unmounted program activity is playing “Name that Horse” while feeding the horses hay. One person gives a clue about a horse and the students take turns guessing which horse that clue describes. This game works on memory, speaking with clarity, feeling comfortable speaking in front of a group… and it is just plain fun! The children feel excitement when they are giving the clue and pride when they answer a question correctly. This game is also easily differentiated to different levels of students and the lesson of the day; clues could focus on the horses’ breeds, colors, markings, past jobs, or their emotions and personalities. Ask any of our participants who is the silliest horse in the barn and they will shout out “SPIKE!”
Participants in Lovelane’s unmounted programs build confidence through the accomplishment of daily tasks. Students feel important when they walk through the barn doors knowing that they are assistant barn managers that day, and it is up to us all as a team to care for Lovelane’s incredible horses. Taking care of another living, breathing creature, and knowing that they are responsible for the well-being of an animal that they love so much is a feeling that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. With the staff’s encouragement and supportive words, the students are proud of themselves for everything they achieve at the Lovelane Barn.
Through the powerful shared love for horses, our students find common ground on which to build relationships with their peers. At the Lovelane Barn, children get a chance to work with one another, make friendships, problem-solve together, and be a part of a team. While the instructors and volunteers provide the tools and the ideal environment to foster new bonds, the students themselves do the real work. In a supportive comfortable environment, the children can interact with their new friends – both horse and human!
Lovelane’s group unmounted programs provide a variety of activities where communication is key. The group needs to constantly talk with one another to make sure all of the tasks are being completed and all of the horses are getting the care they need. For example, before dropping hay, the team meets to discuss who will be responsible for feeding which horses. In this group discussion, the students are practicing turn-taking, attention skills, eye contact, staying on topic, speaking with clarity, and compromise. All of these important skills are applicable in their daily lives when communicating with others outside of class.
Please email the Program Director, Cassie Clarke, to express your interest in having your child participate. Cassie will schedule an initial phone call to discuss the offerings and your child’s goals, then coordinate a short (15 minute) visit to the barn to meet you and your child.
Students should wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes and clothes that can get a little dirty! They also should dress for the weather. A winter coat, gloves, and a hat are recommended as the weather gets colder. Bug spray and sunscreen are also advised depending on the weather.
Yes, you can drop your child off. You do not need to stay at Lovelane while your child participates in one of our unmounted programs.
A few of our favorite places include: DeCordova Sculpture Park, Walden Pond, Drumlin Farm, Donelan's Supermarket, Twisted Tree Cafe, The Lincoln Public Library, Codman Farm