Services and Programs
Small Miracles’ Equine-Assisted Activities & Therapies (EAAT) programs, both mounted (on horse) and unmounted, enhance the personal growth, development and life skills of all participants, enabling them to live life to their fullest potential and as self-sufficiently as possible. Through God’s hand, this equine-human collaboration brings together horses, individuals with special needs, caring volunteers and professionals, to enrich the lives of everyone involved.
Small Miracles currently serves over 300 students per year in the upper Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia regions through five unique programs. Through our Therapeutic Horsemanship Program, HOPE Connection Program, Friends Program, Positive Youth Development Program and Horses Empower Heroes (HEH) Small Miracles is able to provide services and programs that address the specific needs for individuals with ADD/ADHD, Ataxia-telangiectasia, autism/Asperger’s syndrome, Sensory Processing Disorder, cerebral palsy, CHARGE syndrome, developmental delay, Down syndrome, stroke, visual impairment, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Microcephaly, Cryptic Translocation and fine/gross motor skills.
As a United Way of Greater Kingsport agency member, all of our programs work to meet the assessed needs within our local community of Helping Children & Youth Succeed and Promoting Self-Sufficiency. Small Miracles does not discriminate based upon financial ability to pay or any other discriminatory factors.
Benefits of Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies
The horse’s gait closely mimics the human walking gait, therefore, riders receive physical development through the stimulating muscle and nerve input. This movement can be used to produce specific physical improvements such as increased balance, trunk control, fine and gross motor skills, coordination, flexibility and strength.
The horse is a strong motivator for participants. Lessons incorporate activities and games that are designed to help achieve specific goals such as following multi-step directions, staying on task, memorization and sequencing, just to name a few. Participants often demonstrate an increase in vocabulary and verbalization.
The horse and the equestrian environment offer a wide variety of input to participants. Visual, auditory and tactile sensations are experienced through both mounted and un-mounted activities. Sensory integration facilitates attention and awareness, and assists the participant in processing a more organized response to the stimuli.
The relationships developed between participants, volunteers, horses, and staff are all an integral part of the positive emotional experience provided by equine-assisted activities. Improvements in emotional stability, self-image, confidence, independence, and inter-personal relationships are often seen.
Equine-assisted activities provide an excellent opportunity for participants to interact with their peers, program volunteers and staff in a positive and enjoyable environment. Participants often enhance their ability to work with others, demonstrate increased cooperation, teamwork, responsibility and respect for others.