Special Ability HorseManShip

Special Abilty HorseManShip

 Special Ability HorseManShip started about 13 years ago. Actually, it began with a love of horses that Dennis had since he was a youngster. When he married Karen,he  began his journey with riders who have some "special needs" And  the journey led into working with people who want to experience "HORSES". 



 For all ages, from the very youngest to the older adult

  •   Individualized specialized program
  •  One on One lessons
  •   Includes, as ability permits,  fetching the horse from the pen,  grooming, saddling, leading,
  •   Arena work and outside trail ride
  •   Games and fun activities, labyrinth, pole bending,
  •   Weekly, bi-weekly to fit your schedule
  •   Year round
  •   Approximately 1 hour lesson
  •   Emphasis on building core strength, learning “right & left” ,  balance, leg strength, cross-over exercises
  •   Walk, Trot and Gait
  •   On lead line progressing to independent riding, as ability permits
  •  $50.00 per lesson (&GST). Each lesson about 1 hour long.


What YOU need to bring for your lessons:

  1. your own helmet, can be purchased at a local Tack Shop
  2. wearing appropriate clothing, shoes/boots with heels, NO dangling strings, jewlery, or loose clothing
  3. volunteers to be "Spotters"  (walk beside horse or just keep an eye on rider to help with safely and to re-enforce lessons)
  4. volunteer to be "Horse Handlers (to lead horse, or other wise help with horse)
  5. a great attitude!
  6. willingness to learn and have fun while learning
  7. spectators to cheer you on
  8. carrots or apples to give your horse a treat for a "job well done"    

Dennis And Karen

Dennis's Experience


Dennis began his adventure in working with horses & people with special needs, when he married his wife, Karen, in 1971. Karen had polio and had some lasting effects from it. In the 80's she experienced post polio syndrome.  Her continuing love of horses and riding, led them to learning about riding with a special ability. And learn they did!  And in that learning, found that horses were great therapy, both for mind and body. They soon became very interested in therapeutic riding and finding out all they could about the benefits of horses and people with special abilities.

In 2001, Dennis and Karen moved to Red Deer, Alberta.  Very quickly they became acquainted with a therapeutic riding club. Starting by serving on the board, they soon became more active in the club itself. Volunteering as side walker and leader, Dennis began to realize that his past training and experience was put to good use in working with children and adults. He soon became program director, overseeing all aspects of the program.  Along with taking some courses on various abilities, he studied various techniques of teaching riders who had those special abilities. For many years he worked with the club, as well as providing private horsemanship lessons to riders of all ages and abilities. At the conclusion of his time with the club, he moved into providing one-one-one horsemanship lessons for people with special abilities. 

Dennis and Karen have taken many courses to enable them to better work with individuals with special and unique needs. 

From the autistic child who learned to speak while riding a horse to the development and strengthening of core muscles of the child with cerebral palsy to helping the adult with a learning disability, Dennis has proven his ability to share with those who have physical, emotional or mental struggles. He has also worked with children at risk with a local school councilor. Riding for Special Needs in Red Deer

He continues to train horses, conduct training/riding clinics and give HorseManShip lessons to both able bodied people and those with special needs.  

Horses and people with special needs in Red Deer. HorseSense HorseManShip in Red Deer 

"Riding my horse-gives wings to my feet and joy to my heart"

 "Watching my child ride, under the direction of Dennis Quillans, brought tears to my eyes as I realized that this was one of the very best things, since the 4 years since my son’s diagnosis, that I ever could have done to help my child. My son was diagnosed with a rare genetic neurological disorder, Polymicrogyria, resulting in left sided hemi-paresis (partial-paralysis,) and after years of therapy and tons of dedicated work, watching my son steer Cuddles the horse, entirely on his own made me realize just how lucky we were to stumble across Dennis and Cuddles which has given my son the confidence and promise to engineer his own destiny, on his own terms, within his own ability and under the caring and experienced guidance of Dennis. Never have I been more thankful. Thank you."

  Laura Freeman