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Quantum Leap FarmLocated in Odessa, Florida, Quantum Leap Farm’s Horse and Healing program exists to enrich and enhance the lives of active and injured service members and their families, and civilian adults with mental and physical disabilities by engaging them in various equestrian activities designed to promote and improve physical, mental and social well-being. Quantum Leap Farm provides therapeutic and recreational horseback riding, hippotherapy, carriage driving, equine assisted mental and behavioral health services, and a variety of equine experiential learning programs and workshops.

I had the pleasure of working with the staff, students and volunteers at Quantum Leap Farm as a riding instructor. Seeing first hand the healing power of the horse and the benefits that therapeutic riding offers to persons with disabilities is always a life changing event.

Each equestrian activity offers a wide variety of therapeutic benefits to participants recovering from injury or living with mental or physical disability. These benefits may be categorized as physical, psychological, educational and social in nature.

Therapeutic horseback riding improves the strength, tone, flexibility, and reflexes of postural muscles and leg muscles, thereby increasing stability of gait and balance in people with mild to moderate mobility disabilities.  Those with more severe disabilities benefit from improved balance, coordination, and postural control essential to healthy respiratory and digestive function. The aim of any program is to improve self-confidence and mental relaxation, along with the physical benefits.  In addition, one would hope for significant carry- over of improvements from the therapy sessions to activities of daily living.

For those who are recovering from injury or who live with mental or physical disability, the human-horse relationship can open the door to an entirely new realm of possibilities. Horse and human become partners in a therapeutic relationship which offers a multitude of opportunities to focus on and explore abilities rather than disabilities.  Students learn to be at ease, rather than dis-eased. I am honored to have been part of the Quantum Leap-Horses and Healing team and working with amazing staff, students and horses.

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