Sensory Trail

Marie Bruns reached out to Inspiration Stables in the fall of 2019 about building a sensory trail for us as her Girl Scout Gold Award Project. The Girl Scout Gold Award is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. It involves approximately 100 hours of work on a project that must create a substantial, sustainable impact on the community. Given the number of children Inspiration Stables serves with autism and sensory processing challenges, we welcomed the opportunity to add a sensory trail to our programming offering!

Benefits of a sensory trail?

Gives participants new ways to stimulate and encourage their senses

Can also help horses by giving them a new environment to keep them interested

Creates new opportunities for participants to engage and develop their riding skills


Sensory work benefits:

Stimulates the brain, improve social skills and coordination

Fine motor skills

Problem solving skills


What is the sensory trail?

Stations to stimulate the senses (minus taste)

12 sensory stations

Portable stations (versus permanent, built in ones) that allow the trail to be moved anywhere and rearranged in  many different combinations or used in sections allowing for customization to each individual’s needs

Built out of sturdy materials to withstand the elements for years to come.

Descriptions of different stations:


Pool noodle station:

This station involves two jump standards that are positioned on both sides of the rider. Each standard has 5 brightly colored pool noodles that extend off of if into the middle, creating a fun and exciting area to walk through.


Shapes boards:

There are 4 shape boards- a yellow star, a pink square, a red triangle, and a blue circle. These four boards are the only aspect of the trail that are not painted white- they’re black! This is because the black background with the colorful shapes helps them to really “pop” for the children using them. Each shape has velcro on it and a laminated paper shape to stick to the wooden board. These can be used as a map around the arena or a fun matching station. 



There are five different texture boards. Each of these contains a different type of material that the riders can touch. There is a reversible sequin fabric, soft crushed velvet fabric, foam plate mats, and two different types of contact paper. Each board is on its own standard so they can be placed all around the arena. 


Sniff and shake bottles:

One standard holds a box on top, which holds the nine different sniff and shake bottles. Six of these bottles contain items that make different noises, such as glitter or beads, that the rider can shake and listen to. The other three bottles contain cotton balls with different oils on them that allow the rider to experience different smells. 



The music station has different widths and lengths of PVC on it which the rider can hit with a mallet to hear the different sounds created by the different types of pipe.


Ball board:

Comprising two standards and a main board section, this station has three baskets that riders can drop different types of balls in. 



The lock board contains multiple different types of door locks, such as sliding locks and hook and eye locks, that let riders work on their fine motor skills.

Interested in becoming a participant or want more information? Let's get in touch!