About


REINS mission is to provide 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 spring, summer and fall programs 5 days per week from March though November 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.

  • REINS believes that we provide a safe environment for all who enter; Horses, Volunteers, Staff, Board, Riders and Families.
  • REINS believes that volunteers are the backbone of our program.
  • REINS believes our horses are sentient beings and equal partners in our program
  • REINS believes that we must be good stewards to all of the resources provided to us
  • REINS believes that our environment provides a warm, pleasant, restorative place to be enjoyed by all who enter.
  • REINS believes that everything within us is communal and we move forward together in joy and positive intent.
  • REINS believes in the power of integrity, respect, confidentiality and positive intent.
  • REINS believes that everyone should be able to experience the power of this program regardless of their ability to pay.
  • REINS believes that being accountable as a certified PATH, International center holds to us to a set of recognizable standards for all aspects of our program.

We offer Therapeutic Riding, Equine-assisted Learning (EAL) classes and Memory Care. 

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.

Our Memory Care classes are for individuals who are experiencing the early signs and onset of memory loss. Participants and their caregivers join us for Our Memory Care program is specially designed for individuals in the early stages of memory loss, providing a supportive and engaging environment for both participants and their caregivers. This unique program leverages the therapeutic benefits of equine-assisted activities to promote mental and emotional well-being.

Participants and their caregivers are invited to join us for a variety of equine-based activities, including grooming, leading, and feeding our gentle and intuitive Equine Therapists. These hands-on experiences not only foster a sense of responsibility and connection with the animals but also provide opportunities for participants to engage in meaningful, sensory-rich activities.

Throughout the program, participants are encouraged to share their personal stories and reminisce about their past experiences. This process of walking down memory lane helps to stimulate cognitive function and create emotional connections, ultimately contributing to an improved quality of life. Our supportive and compassionate environment ensures that every individual feels valued and understood, allowing them to build a sense of community and belonging.

By integrating equine therapy with memory care, we aim to offer a holistic approach that addresses the unique needs of individuals experiencing memory loss, fostering both cognitive and emotional enrichment.

 
 
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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 in our own site in Sheboygan Falls, WI. This site was generously provided by Majestic Crossing Dairy, LLC for the last 8 years, and as of February 2023 was purchased by REINS to be our forever home. 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 67,000 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 spring, summer and fall from March though November. Classes are scheduled in half hour to one-hour increments, five 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. Up to three volunteers are 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 

PATH Intl. Mission

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) promotes safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs.

 

PATH Intl. Vision

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is a global authority, resource and advocate for equine-assisted activities and therapies and the equines in this work that inspire and enrich the human spirit.

READ MORE AT www.pathintl.org