The Saddle Safari Discovery Trail

In celebration of our 30-Year Anniversary, and to further our partnership with the Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding, Baudville sponsored the development of a sensory trail on the center’s expansive property. Winding through woods, trails, and over Stedman Creek, the Saddle Safari Discovery Trail promises a rich and rewarding experience for all riders.

Different stops on the trail, described below, offer the opportunity to interact with the environment, and facilitate engagement, communication, and creative thought. These interactions nurture the riders’ motor, social, emotional, and cognitive functions, while exposing them to natural surroundings filled with sights, sounds, smells, and tactile sensations.

Read on to learn more about the stops on the trail and see photos as the trail progressed!

MEMORY TREE

This majestic tree displays commemorative horse shoes decorated by children who have been affected by cancer. Located in a wooded part of the trail, the Memory Tree provides them with a memorial to visit whenever they like.

MARIMBA BEATS

This large xylophone offers a variety of sensory stimulants, focusing on sound and touch. The interaction aids in developing fine motor skills, teaches cause and effect, and helps riders learn how to socialize and follow directions.

HORSE AEROBICS

This highly active station is designed to improve mobility and control, while strengthening riding skills. Riders build confidence, use expressive language, and engage in a number of movements that develop balance and coordination.

DISCOVERY QUEST

A series of boxes contain different stimuli to activate the senses of smell, touch, and sight. Riders practice halting and steering the horse, then open and discover. Here they can also focus on stretching and correcting their position.

BIRD’S EYE VIEW

This array of birdhouses and feeders is a haven for our feathered friends. Riders enjoy an experience rich in sights and sounds, while sharpening gross motor skills and making an emotional connection with animals and the environment.

CLICK CLACK CROSSING

This crossing gives riders a shift in sensation, with different sounds and feelings from the change in terrain. They learn to adapt their seating to the incline and decline of the bridge, and hone steering and control skills.

Many Hands Make Light Work!

Over a period of several months, Baudville sent teams of staff volunteers to prepare and develop the site. Through sweat and labor (and great moments of teamwork and camaraderie!), each group moved the project closer to completion. The trail was unveiled on October 16, 2013.