top of page

Why Horses?

The interaction between horse and human can produce incredible transformation. Here are some of the ways people benefit from interacting with horses:

  • Physical: improved balance, motor planning, flexibility, posture, and muscle tone

  • Mental: graded sensory input, vestibular stimulation, improved attention
    and sequencing

  • Emotional: promotes responsibility, confidence, self-esteem, independence,
    safe risk-taking, self discipline

  • Social: positive interactions with the horse, instructor, volunteers, and
    other riders


For more information on how horses can help humans, check out these resources below: 

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH, Intl)

EquiSearch Articles

American Hippotherapy Association


Step 1: 

To begin the registration process, please submit the Participant Application. Once these forms are received, we will reach out to schedule an evaluation ride. Please make sure to read our Frequently Asked Questions below to learn about our polices, costs, and what to expect in our program.

Step 2: 

Once the necessary forms are received, the Great and Small Program Director will reach out to schedule an evaluation ride. 

Forms & Manuals 

How to Participate:
New Rider Application Process


Therapeutic Riding
Forms & Manuals
2024 Session Dates.png

Frequently Asked Questions

How are therapeutic and adaptive riding lessons scheduled?
Lessons are offered in either an 8 week or 14 week package depending on the time of year. We offer 4 separate sessions (winter, spring, summer, and fall). Winter and summer are 8 week long sessions and spring and fall are 14 week long sessions. Riders commit to the same day and time for the entire length of a session. One make-up week is provided at the end of the session for any planned absences. 

What services do we provide?

  • Please see the below sections for a full list of who we serve and how you can benefit from Great and Small's programming.

What ages do you serve?

  • Therapeutic Riding serves ages 4 and older, Hippotherapy serves ages 2 and older, Youth Horsemanship Club serves ages 13 - 20, and Young Adult Horsemanship Club serves ages 21+

How do I get started as a participant?
The first step is to complete the following paperwork:

  • Participant Application (link below)

  • Physician's Consent Form (link below - must be completed by a doctor)

  • Once these forms are completed we will be in touch to schedule a tour and evaluation.

  • After the evaluation lesson is complete you will be contacted for next steps.

What is the difference between Therapeutic Riding and Occupational Therapy utilizing horses as a treatment strategy?
Therapeutic riding is run by our certified therapeutic riding instructors and  focuses on learning how to ride your horse. Each lesson is tailored towards that specific rider’s goals and the skills necessary to work towards those goals.

Occupational therapy utilizing horses as a treatment strategy (sometimes called "hippotherapy") is run by a licensed occupational therapist.  Hippotherapy utilizes the movement of the horse to give the participant core strengthening, vestibular input, sensory input  and more. Hippotherapy focuses on the individual client’s therapy goals as opposed to learning how to ride the horse. 

How are therapeutic and adaptive riding lessons structured? 
Lessons are 45 minutes long and semi-private with 2-4 total participants. Riders are matched with those whose abilities are similar. Private lessons are available only with prior approval of the Program Director, and carry an additional cost.

How much does each therapeutic and adaptive session cost? (Updated Fall 2022)
Lessons are structured in 8 or 14 week lesson blocks ($60 per lesson). Lesson blocks must be paid for in advance of the session unless other arrangements have been made with the Program Director.

  • 8 week, 45 minute semi private lesson block is  $480

  • 14 weeks, 45 minute semi private lesson block is $840

Note: one make-up therapeutic or adaptive riding lesson is provided per session should Great and Small cancel, and may be carried over only to the next session or forfeited. Make up sessions are not provided for participant cancellations. 

How much does Occupational Therapy cost and how is it structured?

Therapy sessions are structured in 7-8 or 12-13 week lesson blocks ($150 per lesson). First evaluation sessions are $225.


Sessions blocks must be paid for in advance of the session unless other arrangements have been made with the Program Director.

What is Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy?
EFP is an experiential form of therapy that incorporates horses into the treatment process. In this interactive process, a licensed mental health professional collaborates with a PATH International Equine Specialist and suitable equines to address psychotherapy goals set by the mental health professional and the client.

Do you offer one time lessons, rides, or family/group trail rides?
No, we do not. Please check out several other local farms, such as Potomac Horse Center, for these services.

What are Horsemanship Clubs? 
Horsemanship clubs offer an unmounted opportunity for participants with social, emotional, physical and cognitive disabilities to come together to learn more about our equine partners here at Great and Small. Participants work on skill building, social skills, and team building all while engaging in fun horse related activities. Activities can include grooming, leading, learning about the horse, caring for the horse, learning about different riding styles, farm management and much more! We currently offer a youth horsemanship club (ages 13-18) and a young adult horsemanship club (ages 19+)

What is your weather policy?
Great and Small follows Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) for weather-related delays and closures. A delay cancels all lessons before noon. An early release cancels all lessons after noon. A cancellation of school cancels all lessons on that day. Great and Small may cancel lessons for extreme heat or extreme cold in the winter and summer months. 

  • WINTER: If the actual temperature for Boyds, MD (20841) is forecast to be 25 degrees or less at the time of your lesson, the lesson will be unmounted.

  • SUMMER: If the actual temperature for Boyds, MD (20841) is forecast to be 95 degrees or more at the time of your lesson, the lesson will be unmounted.

Other cancellations may be made due to severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings and other local weather patterns that make it unsafe to hold lessons. Great and Small reserves the right to cancel lessons based on the availability of instructors, volunteers, and/or horses. Further, any factor or situation considered by Great and Small staff to be a threat to the safety of students, volunteers, staff, or horses is reason for cancellation.

bottom of page