Who Can Participate?

Any person age 4 or older with a physical, mental, developmental, or emotional disability is eligible to be evaluated for our program. Riders must provide a physician's statement and be approved by our Director, Instructor, and Therapist.

Riders must meet the following criteria to be eligible to participate in our program.

    • Riders must be diagnosed with a physical, mental, or emotional disability as defined by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) which impairs their ability to take part in a regular riding program.
    • Riders must be at least 4 years of age.
    • Riders must weigh less than 210 lbs.
    • Riders must behave in a manner that is not harmful to animals or volunteers.
    • Riders must be able to and consent to wearing an ASTM approved helmet for the duration of the lesson.
    • Riders must have a letter from a physician regarding any precautions or possible contraindications.
    • Potential riders must be evaluated by a staff member and, if they have certain physical disabilities, by a licensed occupational or physical therapist for balance, range of motion, and strength. Both evaluations take place at the same time.
    • Riders with Down Syndrome must be age 4 or older, with proof of a Negative Cervical X-ray for Atlantoaxial Instability.
    • Families must update all required rider forms annually.


If you are interested in riding in our program we will be happy to answer your questions and help you with the application process. Please note that Special Equestrians currently has a waiting list for riders, and it can take as long as a year for placement in our program once you are on the list. To be placed on the waiting list, please complete the following procedures.

    • Download the New Rider Forms. Those who cannot print the forms can call the office at (205) 987-9462 and a set will be mailed.


  • Complete all forms except the Physician's Statement and return them to Special Equestrians, 1215 Woodward Drive, Indian Springs AL, 35124. Potential riders are placed on the Waiting List in the order in which their forms are received, so it is important that you do this as soon as possible.

Take the Physician's Statement with you the next time you have a regularly scheduled appointment with your doctor and then return the completed form to Special Equestrians. When it looks as if a space for you or your child might be available, we will contact you to schedule an evaluation.

Please note: For class times and dates click here.