Unmounted Programs - Lovelane

In addition to individual therapeutic riding lessons, Lovelane offers a variety of engaging, fun unmounted programs throughout the year. All of our unmounted programs are integrated and open to students with and without disabilities. Please explore this page to learn more about our unmounted programs. For more information, email us at programs@lovelane.org or call Jennie Cooke at 781-259-1177 x23

  • Carrot Club: for our youngest students, ages 3 – 6, focused on social skills
  • Barn Buddies: for students ages 5+, focused on horse care and developing physical, emotional, and social growth
  • Horse Care Academy: for teens and young adults, focused on horse care, building confidence and functional life skills
  • Find Your Stride: for young adults, focused on social skills, self-advocacy, independent living, and occupational skills
  • Private Unmounted Sessions: for students of all ages, designed for their individual needs & goals
  • Frequently Asked Questions
Carrot Club students work as a team to create horse popsicles out of apple suace, oranges, watermelon, and other fruit.

Carrot Club

The Carrot Club is a social skill-building program for students ages 3 – 6. This group is facilitated by Kristin Chisum, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in social cognition. Kristin has also been a therapeutic riding instructor at Lovelane for over 20 years. Kristin utilizes our horses to model key social cues to set the scene for positive peer interactions that support social language development.

The Carrot Club helps participants increase social awareness, build self-esteem and confidence, and improve conversational skills, including turn-taking, topic maintenance, eye contact, and body language. Students will work on developing strategies for successful social interactions, including cooperative play, self-regulation/”staying expected”, following a group plan, and “sharing an imagination”.


  • Sundays from 10:00 – 10:45 am, April 21 – June 9 (no class May 12 or 26)
  • Sundays from 11:00 – 11:45 am, April 21 – June 9 (no class May 12 or 26)
  • COST: $360 for 6 weeks


  • Tuesdays from 12:30 – 1:15 pm, July 9 – August 13 (no class July 23rd) – FULL
  • COST: $300 for 5 weeks 

Barn Buddies

Challenging and fun, Barn Buddies places students in integrated small groups comprised of children with and without disabilities, ages 5 and up. Guided by an instructor and enthusiastic volunteers, students work as a team to take care of Lovelane’s wonderful horses. Through exciting games, activities, and barn chores, Barn Buddies promotes the physical, emotional, and social growth of each child.


  • Tuesdays from  4:30 – 5:30, March 12 – June 4 (no class April 16)
  • Thursdays from  4:30 – 5:30, March 14 – June 6 (no class April 18)
  • Saturdays from 12:15 – 1:15, March 9 – June 15 (no class April 20, May 18 or 25)
  • COST: $600 for 12 weeks


  • Thursdays from  4:00 – 5:00 pmJuly 18 – August 15 – FULL
  • COST: $250 for 5 weeks
Horse Care Academy students work as a team to clean a horse's paddock.

Horse Care Academy

Horse Care Academy is an engaging class that immerses participants in the barn setting. In this program teens and young adults participate in supervised lessons focused on building confidence and functional life skills such as time management, prioritizing tasks and responsibilities, managing and working with a team, and communicating with peers and supervisors. Horse Care Academy empowers its participants, increases their knowledge of horses and the care they need as well as readies them to take on the “real world”!


  • Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:30, March 13 – June 5 (no class April 17)
  • Saturdays from 10:15 – 11:45, March 9 – June 15 (no class April 20, May 18 or 25)
  • COST: $770 for 12 weeks

Find Your Stride

Find Your Stride is a social skill-building program for young adults. This group is facilitated by Kristin Chisum, a speech-language pathologist who specializes in social cognition. Kristin has also been a therapeutic riding instructor at Lovelane for over 20 years. Kristin utilizes the horses and the welcoming barn environment to create opportunities for practicing and building on social communication skills.

Find Your Stride helps participants increase social and situational awareness, develop strategies for successful social interactions, build self-esteem and confidence, and practice self-advocacy. Students also work on improving their conversational skill, including turn-taking, topic maintenance, eye-contact, and body language, and developing independent living and occupational skills


  • Thursdays from 10:00 – 11:00, February 29 – June 13 (no class April 18)
  • COST: $900 for 15 weeks
Find Your Stride Students pose for a photo in their regular meeting space: under a canopy next to the barn.

Private Unmounted Sessions

Our private unmounted horsemanship sessions are great for students who thrive in a one-on-one atmosphere. Lessons will be catered to and designed for the participant’s individual needs and goals.

  • Duration: 45-minute private unmounted lessons
  • Days/Times: Monday – Friday, times differ each day and will be scheduled based on participant availability
  • Spring Session: 8 weeks April – June
  • Summer Session: 4 – 6 weeks in July and/or August.
  • Fall Session: 8 weeks September – November
  • COST: $72 per session
“Michael LOVES Barn Buddies. He comes home from it SO happy and upbeat! He considers all the horses his “friends,” a word he seldom uses for his peers.”​ – a Lovelane parent

Unmounted Progams Frequently Asked Questions

At this time Lovelane does not have funds available to provide tuition assistance for our unmounted programs.
We encourage you to reach out to our program director, Jennie Cooke, and schedule a visit to the barn so we can work together to determine which program your child would benefit most from. Jennie may be reached by email, Jennie@lovelane.org, or by phone, 781-259-1177 x23.
Yes! All of our unmounted programs are integrated and open to students with and without disabilities. Our philosophy is that horses allow all people to develop confidence, compassion, and communication skills. Our inclusive unmounted programs are a great way for all students to start or continue their horse journey in a welcoming and supportive environment.
One activity that is used to address many areas and goals is grooming a horse. This is a special time for the student to give love and attention to a horse and deepen the connection they feel for that exceptional friend. Beyond this obvious emotional benefit, grooming also helps students work on gaining body awareness and practice sequencing and motor planning. Another example is making grain. While students are having fun making dinner for the horses, they are also working on improving reading skills, learning fractions, paying attention to detail, and following a list. A favorite unmounted program activity is playing “Name that Horse” while feeding the horses hay. One person gives a clue about a horse and the students take turns guessing which horse that clue describes. This game works on memory, speaking with clarity, feeling comfortable speaking in front of a group… and it is just plain fun! The children feel excitement when they are giving the clue and pride when they answer a question correctly. This game is also easily differentiated to different levels of students and the lesson of the day; clues could focus on the horses’ breeds, colors, markings, past jobs, or their emotions and personalities. Ask any of our participants who is the silliest horse in the barn and they will shout out “SPIKE!”
Participants in Lovelane’s unmounted programs build confidence through the accomplishment of daily tasks. Students feel important when they walk through the barn doors knowing that they are assistant barn managers that day, and it is up to us all as a team to care for Lovelane’s incredible horses. Taking care of another living, breathing creature, and knowing that they are responsible for the well-being of an animal that they love so much is a feeling that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. With the staff’s encouragement and supportive words, the students are proud of themselves for everything they achieve at the Lovelane Barn.
Through the powerful shared love for horses, our students find common ground on which to build relationships with their peers. At the Lovelane Barn, children get a chance to work with one another, make friendships, problem-solve together, and be a part of a team. While the instructors and volunteers provide the tools and the ideal environment to foster new bonds, the students themselves do the real work. In a supportive comfortable environment, the children can interact with their new friends – both horse and human!
Lovelane’s group unmounted programs provide a variety of activities where communication is key. The group needs to constantly talk with one another to make sure all of the tasks are being completed and all of the horses are getting the care they need. For example, before dropping hay, the team meets to discuss who will be responsible for feeding which horses. In this group discussion, the students are practicing turn-taking, attention skills, eye contact, staying on topic, speaking with clarity, and compromise. All of these important skills are applicable in their daily lives when communicating with others outside of class.
Please email the Program Director, Jennie Cooke, to express your interest in having your child participate. Jennie will schedule an initial phone call to discuss the offerings and your child’s goals, then coordinate a short (15 minute) visit to the barn to meet you and your child.
Students should wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes and clothes that can get a little dirty! They also should dress for the weather. A winter coat, gloves, and a hat are recommended as the weather gets colder. Bug spray and sunscreen are also advised depending on the weather.
Yes, you can drop your child off. You do not need to stay at Lovelane while your child participates in one of our unmounted programs.
A few of our favorite places include: DeCordova Sculpture Park, Walden Pond, Drumlin Farm, Donelan's Supermarket, Twisted Tree Cafe, The Lincoln Public Library, Codman Farm
“Thank you for letting me participate in your Horse Care Academy program last weekend…I was so impressed with your methods! I loved your photo boards and your personal style of working with the young men and women. The many levels of physical and cognitive skills the program touched on were impressive!” – Lovelane Volunteer