Physical and occupational therapists use horses for special needs treatment in kids, but also for sheer riding pleasure when a child is terminally ill. The notion of horses as healers (therapeutic horses are very kind and gentle) isn't new; these horses are known for giving people new hope and a new lease on life.
Here's what's available locally:
Therapeutic Horseback Experiences
Angel Heart Farm
Angel Heart Farm is a 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Nashville. It serves children and families battling chronic and life threatening illnesses using equine assisted therapy. This service is not for children with special needs, simply for those battling other life-threatening issues. Their main goal is to help kids be kids away from all the medical necessities and bring joy into their lives through horses and nature. It’s at no cost, too!
Maury County (just because it's close to Williamson County)
Maury Magic Riders
1210 Loftin Road, Columbia
A non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization that offers recreational and therapeutic horseback riding for young children through adults with disabilities such as Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Stroke, Autism, a wide range of learning disorders and also for individuals with impaired mobility.
1549 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin
Saddle Up! is a year-round program that serves nearly 190 children/youth a year. It’s the oldest and largest program of its kind in the region, too. In addition, it’s the only program that exclusively serves children and youth with disabilities.
White Fawn Farm
3743 Bear Creek Road, Thompson’s Station
White Fawn Farm provides families dealing with disabilities and other life challenges with personalized equine therapeutic programs. Those programs include interactions with horses on the ground, on horseback or in a horse carriage.
4050 Cairo Bend Road, Lebanon
Southern STARRS provides special needs children and adults therapeutic and recreational horseback riding and animal assisted activities and classes.