Therapeutic Horse Riding

At ManeGait in McKinney Texas, children and adults with disabilities move
beyond their boundaries through the healing power of the horse and the
dedication of a professional, caring community.
Founded in 2007 by business and community leaders Bill and Priscilla Lewis
Darling and their daughter, Landon Darling Schneider, ManeGait has had the
privilege of serving North Texas for over 15 years. ManeGait’s nationally
recognized therapeutic riding and brain building programs enable individuals with
disabilities and military veterans to live more independent and fulfilling lives.
ManeGait provides weekly therapeutic programs to 150 riders with physical,
emotional, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities, delivering more than 7,000 hours
of services each year. Certified instructors lead our programs with the assistance
of 30 therapy horses and a team of over 285 volunteers each week.

What is Therapeutic Horseback Riding?
ManeGait’s core riding program consists of weekly private or small group lessons
where riders learn to walk, trot, canter, and compete as equestrians. Horseback
riding is a rewarding activity that provides many physical, cognitive, and
emotional benefits.

  • Riding is therapeutic and can lead to improved muscle strength, motor
    skills, flexibility, coordination, balance, posture, and other physical abilities.
  • Riding can increase cognitive abilities, including speech, communication,
    attention, focus, memory, sequencing, following instructions, and
    managing tasks.
  • Riding promotes positive emotional and behavioral outcomes for
  • Riding is a sport that offers freedom to those unable to walk, run, or move
    without assistance – many times the only sport ManeGait riders will

What other programs are offered at MainGait?

 GAITWAY TO THE BRAIN – Developed at ManeGait, GaitWay is the first
program of its kind to integrate brain-building exercises into the framework
of equine therapy to extend the physical and cognitive benefits of riding.
 MANEGAIT TO FREEDOM – This program is designed to support and
promote the physical and mental wellbeing military veterans and first
 CARRIAGE DRIVING – Participants learn to drive a horse-drawn carriage,
promoting coordination, fine and gross motor skills, visual perception, and
 STABLE STARS – The program gives individuals with disabilities the
opportunity to experience the hard work and rewards of caring for horses.
 STABLE STORIES – Young riders develop literacy skills by reading to their
gentle and accepting therapy horse.

“What ManeGait means to Cami is the opportunity to be on par with her normal
peers. It gives her the ability to do things that many of her peers are unable to do,
which is ride or drive a horse. The freedom to overcome her challenges and give
her movement that she has difficulty with when not on a horse. The improvement
in her body movement after riding is night and day compared to those weeks
when she was unable to ride or drive. The increase in muscle movement and
dexterity that elude her motor skills during riding breaks is visible to her mom and
myself. So, in a short word, what does ManeGait mean to Cami in a single word?
It means freedom. … The horses are therapist in ways words cannot ever be
quantified. Riding unlocks movement in her body that her body was unable to do
before learning to ride. It has been a Godsend for her and her mother, both
physically and emotionally. It is the one constant now in her life.” – RIDER PARENT

Where to find a therapeutic horsemanship center near you?
The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International is made
up of 813 member centers around the world. To find a center visit:

Join in. Mount up. Ride tall.