Stirrups & Smiles provides the facility, specially trained horses, and equipment to provide equine assisted therapy for special needs individuals. The heart of therapeutic riding is teamwork with the horse, rider, therapist, instructor, volunteer, and family working together to provide a fun, loving, and positive therapeutic environment that cannot be duplicated in a clinical setting. For riders with impaired mobility, the gentle rhythmic movement of the horse moves their bodies in a manner similar to the human gait. This allows riders to improve their balance, flexibility, and muscle strength. Riders with learning disorders or mental disabilities are given an opportunity to improve their reasoning skills and develop increased concentration and patience. The special bond between the rider and horse allows the rider to improve his or her personal relationships, develop greater self-confidence and a sense of independence.