Therapeutic Horseback Riding

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The Therapeutic Riding Program (TRP) at Haku Baldwin Center provides quality equine-assisted services for youth with special needs on Maui. Offered weekly by appointment, riders receive personal instruction on horseback from one of our therapeutic riding instructors. A range of unmounted lesson curriculum is also available to suit each participant’s goals.

Therapeutic/adaptive riding and horsemanship lessons take place in a typical equine environment, adapted to focus on the specific needs and abilities of each participant. At Haku Baldwin Center, we focus on what participants CAN do, rather than their individual diagnosis. Lessons include indoor arena activities and outdoor trail rides on our beautiful grounds in Makawao.

Program Director, Chrissy Stout, is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and our team includes certified instructors and instructors-in-training. Read more about PATH Intl. here.

Therapeutic Riding Program


A horse, being a dynamic living animal, lends itself perfectly to a multi-sensory approach. Grooming, mounting, and riding all contain therapeutic virtues. Touch, feel, smell, and movement all become important aspects for learning and growing. Many persons restricted to wheelchairs, or other assistive mobility devices, are able to be independently mobile for the first time while riding a horse.

  • The act of being on a horse can encourage stretching and strengthening of underused or underdeveloped muscles, improved posture and coordination, development of gross and fine motor skills, and improved range of motion.
  • Because a horse’s natural gait, or movement, is similar to the human gait, horseback riding can improve flexibility, balance, and strength.  It’s a wonderful form of exercise for people of all abilities.
  • In addition, riders can increase their self-esteem and self-confidence, learn problem-solving skills, and increase focus and ability to stay on task.
  • Our gentle therapy horses provide great motivation and an experience to develop the human-animal bond.
  • Most of all, horseback riding is a fun activity!

Our horses are carefully chosen and must pass a series of tests before being accepted into the program. We offer both a standard mounting block with steps and a wheelchair ramp for riders using adaptive mobility equipment.

To inquire about whether therapeutic/adaptive riding would be a good fit for your child, call us at (808) 572-9129 or send us a message through our Contact Page.


Haku Baldwin Center is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  We’re located in beautiful Makawao, on the island of Maui, Hawaii.  Funding for our therapeutic programs comes mostly through public donations.  If you’d like to donate today, click here.

Want to volunteer?  Click here.