Who we are
REINS mission is to personal growth, challenge and development through equine assisted activities and therapies to improve participants quality of life.
REINS, Inc. is a non-profit Wisconsin corporation committed to improving the lives of those with special needs through individually structured classes using therapeutic interactions with horses. We are a equine assisted activities and therapy center accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl).
REINS has been serving people with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities in Sheboygan and Manitowoc counties since 1982. We offer summer programs 3 days per week during the months of June, July and August to people ages 4-99. REINS is a place where people come to heal and to make friends that last a lifetime. We strive to provide support and growth opportunities for all our participants.
REINS is a charitable organization under the IRS classification 501(c)(3), and donations are tax deductible.
What we do
We offer both Therapeutic Riding and Equine-assisted Learning (EAL) classes.
Therapeutic riding is an exciting field in which horses are used as a tool for physical therapy, emotional growth and learning. Many riders experience a connection to the horse that few sports can create.
For those riders who cannot walk, the horse is their vehicle of transport. Not only does this help raise their self-esteem but it also teaches them essential skills such as overcoming fears and anxieties. It improves balance, creates trust and creates a friendship between rider and horse. The benefits of horseback riding are as numerous as the types of disabilities and conditions served. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength.
For individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence and patience. Some of the most common benefits reported include increased physicality, improved focus and attention, modification of inappropriate behaviors and increased social interaction and communication. The unique movement and sensory stimulation of the horse affects the success of this program as well as the supportive environment of our facility and the increased motivation of the Rider to participate and complete the structured activities and exercises in the riding class setting.
Equine-assisted learning (EAL) is an experiential learning approach that promotes the development of life skills for educational, professional and personal goals through equine-assisted activities. PATH Intl. provides standards of professionalism and safety for people working in the EAAT field and guidelines for those providing EAL.
In an EAL setting, the experiential approach integrates equine-human interaction that is guided by a planned learning experience to meet the identified goals or desires of the participant(s). Working with equines provides opportunities to teach critical life skills such as trust, respect, honesty and communication. Equines use mostly non-vocal communication and are in-tune with human behavior. This can help participants to better understand and learn how our non-verbal communication might be impacting or influencing others in their lives. Equines ask people to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Through interactions with the equines, participants learn a heightened self-awareness. Self-awareness is important in order to reveal patterns of behavior and gives participants the opportunity to think in a new way. Furthermore, participants gain self-esteem and self-confidence while learning how to work with such a large and powerful creature. In all, equines provide us with a way to see our internal landscape and modes of operation exposed. They offer us the opportunity to experience humility, compassion and challenge - all critical elements to supporting self-growth and self-awareness
What is REINS?
REINS began as a class project of the Equine Management program at Lakeshore Technical College in Cleveland, Wisconsin in 1982. It continues today as REINS, Inc. a charitable organization under section 501 (3) (c) of the IRS code. We operate at a leased site in Sheboygan Falls, WI. This site is generously provided by Majestic Crossing Dairies, LLC. REINS is PATH International* accredited. Today, PATH Intl. has more than 870 member centers and more than 8,000 individual members in countries all over the world, who help and support more than 62,400 men, women and children--including more than 5,500 veterans--with special needs each year through a variety of equine-assisted activities and therapies programs.
REINS uses PATH International* certified instructors to ensure that we offer the best in education, safety and instruction for our students and volunteers.The program runs during the summer months of June, July and August. Classes are scheduled in one-hour increments, three days each week.
Safety is our prime concern. Horses are donated for the program, and carefully screened. The horses selected are usually older (over 10 years old), well trained and well behaved. Three volunteers are usually assigned to each rider; one leads the horse, and the other two walk on each side of the horse to ensure stability of the rider. The amount of assistance is determined by the rider’s abilities.
REINS relies on volunteers to make the program a success. REINS does charge a minimal fee for its programs. This does not cover the actual cost of operations. Expenses include horse care, riding equipment, supplies, insurance, scholarships, training and fees. We rely on the generosity of outside donations to make up the difference.
*PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is a nonprofit organization providing tested guidelines and accreditation for the effective and safe operation of therapeutic horseback riding programs for the disabled and related equine activities. Members include individuals and centers dedicated to the use of equine-assisted activities and therapies. PATH Intl.’s members represent a cross-section of individuals from various fields, disciplines and professions associated with equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). The PATH Intl. mission statement is “PATH Intl. changes and enriches lives by promoting excellence in equine-assisted activities and therapies.”
From the organization’s inception in 1969, members have focused on the establishment of guidelines to ensure that participants receive the best possible instruction and that centers adhere to the highest quality standards. The commitment of early leaders to center accreditation and instructor certification has become a cornerstone of the organization. PATH Intl.’s goals and objectives have continued to place emphasis on the importance of these programs. In 1996 the association began an on-site peer review program in which REINS participates and belongs. REINS has been a member of this program for over 30 years and is accredited as a Premier Riding Center by PATH.
PATH has certified approximately 800 Centers in the United States and around the world. In Wisconsin there are 16 PATH Centers. Of these, REINS is one of only 4 Premier Accredited sites assuring the highest standards in all activities. REINS instructors are PATH certified as is the complete and professional training program.