Therapy Services versus Recreational Equine Sessions

Therapy Services:

Here, at de la Cruz Farms we offer speech-language therapy services and other specialized therapies utilizing evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning in the purposeful manipulation of equine movement as a therapy tool to engage sensory, neuromotor and cognitive systems to promote functional outcomes.​ When directed by a specially trained licensed therapist, the equine’s stride provides beneficial multidimensional movement and input. Best practice dictates that trained specialized therapists integrate use of equine movement into the patient’s plan of care, along with other therapy tools and/or strategies. The effects of equine movement on postural control, sensory systems, and motor planning can be used to improve coordination, timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration, and attention.

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Recreational Equine Sessions:

These sessions are recreational in nature and whether on the ground or on the horse, participants are assisted by an experienced horse leader, side walkers or farm staff who are trained to teach basic horsemanship, riding skills and to engage in animal interactions in a social, safe environment. Horses have been found to reduce anxiety and stress and create a sense of peace and contentment without expectations. We also conduct activities involving beekeeping, farm animal interactions and gardening. We require that at least one parent/guardian remain on the premises for the duration of the service/session.


Horse activities may include learning about:

  • Farm Chores
  • Building Relationships with Horses
  • Horse Safety
  • Horse Communication
  • Horse Handling/Grooming
  • Groundwork
  • Riding

 Non-horse activities may include the following:

  • Conducting farm chores
  • Learning about sheep and chickens
  • Gardening
  • Learning about honeybees and honey harvest
  • Playing on the playground
  • Sitting and relaxing 


Therapy services and recreational sessions exist to build relationships with children, adolescents, families, and farm staff in a safe environment. The farm serves those who may be facing difficult life circumstances, living in at risk environment or facing a need. Therapy services are conducted on a case-by-case basis with an initial assessment and a treatment plan.  Recreational sessions are designed for individuals at least six years of age but age exceptions are made when appropriate.  Albeit not a requirement to receive services/sessions, prayer and bible truth time are always offered and are readily available to anyone who is interested. 


In keeping with our safety procedures, we ask that participants wear long pants and close toed shoes, preferably boots.  If the participant does not have boots then sturdy close-toed shoes will be accepted.


We are a faith-based organization.  We trust the Lord to provide resources and provisions.  Just as the Lord has lavished His grace upon us, the sessions at the farm are provided at no cost to the family. We kindly receive financial gifts, since our only funding is through private contributions.

Mail Checks to:

de la Cruz Farms
PO Box 165
Deep Gap, North Carolina 28618