In 2002 our community became interested in developing a non-profit equine assisted program specifically for individuals with special needs. Originally the name 4STEPS represented Therapy, Education, Recreation and Sport for individuals with disabilities. As the program developed, participants became more varied in their needs and it became apparent that diversity was a common thread to programming and instruction. The practical aspects of the therapeutic model and instruction created the 4STEPS of Instruction: Balance and Rhythm, Forward Motion, Contact and Control, and Transitions and Shifts. Whatever you call it, 4STEPS means that the 4 hoof beats of a horse creates a calm, relaxed, and balanced cadence for healing and a relationship with a big furry animal that comes with unconditional love!
Diversity has been the hallmark of 4STEPS since its inception. The simplicity of the name 4STEPS implies that the 4-steps or hoof beats of a horse can produce physical and emotional healing, growth and development. Special programs meet the diverse needs of children and adults with physical, emotional and/or cognitive challenges. 4STEPS inherent inclusiveness has always meant reaching out to minorities, rural communities, families with children with special needs, those in group homes and residential communities—to anyone who may be out of the mainstream. In fact, it is this holistic approach and the diversity of our work that is one of the benefits of being part of this industry.
Volunteers will tell you that working with these exceptional participants, who courageously face ongoing physical, emotional, social and/or cognitive challenges, greatly enriches their own lives.
We follow safe practices wear masks, social distance hygiene, and other recommendations made by the Maryland Horse Industry Board and the State of Maryland https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MDMDA/bulletins/28a4587#.XrWz7Ih8c0k.facebook
Please inquire when making reservations.