Benefits of Therapeutic Riding
Therapeutic riding provides educational and recreational opportunities on horseback for individuals with various disabilities. Therapeutic riding can improve riders’ cognitive, physical, social, and emotional abilities. Cognitively, the horse can motivate riders to learn. Educational/ academic goals including letter, number, and word recognition; sequencing, and cause-and-effect can be incorporated into riding activities. Memory and attention span may be improved, as well. Physically, the horse’s movement can stimulate riders’ bodies in a manner that closely resembles the gait of a human. This motion increases riders’ muscle tone, relaxes tight muscles, increases muscle flexibility and joint mobility, and improves posture, balance, and coordination. The horse’s movement, also, provides vestibular stimulation to the rider, which can help mitigate sensory integration issues. Holding the reins and manipulating various objects with the hands can improve fine motor control, hand/eye coordination, and spatial awareness. Socially, therapeutic riding allows riders the opportunity to form relationships with horses and volunteers that develop confidence, patience, and self-esteem. Activities enable riders to learn effective and appropriate communication, as well as develop teamwork through interactions with their peers. Emotionally, therapeutic riding provides a non-competitive setting for learning new skills, responsibility, and self-discipline; as well as overcoming fear and anxiety: all which increase a rider’s self-esteem and independence.
Individual and Group Therapy Lessons
Self-Contained Classroom Volunteerism, Horsemanship Lessons, and Field Trips
Equestrian Special Olympics
PO Box 71 Clinton, SC 29325 *.(864) 923-4998 * firstname.lastname@example.org