Handicapped High Riders Club

This grant was used to help buy the farm and make improvements to the facility which houses the Handicapped High Riders Club in Allentown, NJ. Handicapped High Riders is a recreational and therapeutic program for the learning disabled, mentally retarded and emotionally or physically handicapped. There were approximately five students the first year of the program; now it hosts 60 to 100 riders per week. The program was started in November 1979 by Barbara Isaac and her husband, Hanen. The number of programs available at the farm have grown over the years. The farm offers “hippotherapy,” which is a direct medical treatment with a horse and a trained physical therapist who also is a certified riding instructor. Health professionals use the treatment for clients who have movement dysfunctions. A horse’s movement duplicates the “normal” movements made by an able-bodied person when walking. For many people in wheelchairs, there is no way for their bodies to experience this motion, Mrs. Isaac said. Another growing program involves area schools, which have incorporated therapeutic horseback riding into their physical education curriculum. For more than a dozen years, the High Riders have worked with Project Freedom, a Robbinsville-based organization dedicated to providing housing and related support services to help people with disabilities live independently. For more information about the Handicapped High Riders, call (609) 259-3884.