Rehabilitative services for breast cancer survivors now available in Alpine

"The Hug" - The Answer is so simple and so powerful. "The Hug" - The Answer is so simple and so powerful.
Private rehab sessions provided by women for women

Simply Beautiful

"This is too beautiful, too simple, too good not to share with others," said Catherine Hand, founder and director of Dream Rider, at her most recent training of volunteers. Dream Rider is an equine-assisted rehabilitation program for breast cancer survivors. Don't be fooled by the program's name; it does not involve horse-riding lessons and no horse experience is necessary to participate.

Using human to horse skin to skin contact, music and the three-dimensional movement of the horse, the client is led through a gradual progression of exercises designed specifically for her rehabilitation needs.

Throughout each session, the horse is guided by a leader and the client's safety is assured by trained assistants acting as spotters.

Over time, the exercises not only help to improve blood circulation and oxygenation, respiration and blood pressure, but they also retrain muscles to improve balance, strength, and endurance.

LenJudd250capWhy Post-Treatment Rehab?

While breast cancer treatment can mean the difference between life and death, in some cases, the quality of life for. survivors after treatment takes a huge plunge.

For Hand, herself a breast cancer survivor and an advanced instructor for physical and cognitive disabilities certified by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, her breast cancer treatment two years ago saved her life, but left her debilitated, tied to an oxygen tank and a wheelchair. Because of her previous work with mentally and physically handicapped children, she saw at once the potential benefits of equine-assisted activities for herself.

She said, "at the end of a three month period with once a week rehab sessions, I was able to breathe without an oxygen tank and to walk unassisted.  I want to share this with as many people as possible."

The Horses and Volunteers

It takes a special horse to do this kind of work, one with patience, calmness, and the ability to trust people. Dream Rider's horses have been carefully selected and trained to provide a healing experience,

Dream Rider could not offer its services without the aid of wonderful volunteers. Dream Rider's staff of trained volunteers includes experienced horsewomen, women who have experienced breast cancer in their own families, and others interested in providing a valuable service.

Touching_on_your_terms_and_its_rewardHow to Get Started on Your Dream Ride

Dream Rider is ready and eager to serve women who have survived breast cancer and completed treatment.  Sessions are free, private and held in a picturesque environment where the client's dignity is respected.  Please call Catherine Hand, founder, at 619-445-2576 or email her at  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it to make an appointment.

Published in The Alpine Sun June 17, 2010 (

Catherine Hand, survivor and NARHA Advanced Instructor has dedicated Dream Rider Equestrian Therapy to helping other breast cancer patients survive and thrive.

543 Anderson Road, Alpine, CA  91901  |  619-445-2576  |
Copyright © 2018. Dream Rider Equestrian Therapy. Designed by