WHAT'S EQUINE THERAPY ?
Equine Therapy is used to teach riding skills to people with disabilities. Therapeutic riding is beneficial for children and adults who present with any of a wide range of cognitive, physical, and emotional conditions. Riding a horse provides a unique, sometimes profound, recreational or leisure activity for many. Working with horses can provide more than just riding skills - participants can also learn companionship, responsibility, confidence, leadership, vocational and educational skills,physical benefits which includes improved balance, strengthen muscles,improved coordination.
A student who interacts with his or her horse may extend this interaction to others and form meaningful relationships with people. Building a relationship with an animal is very rewarding in many respects; for a person with an emotional, social or psychological disability, the trust and loyalty of an animal demonstrates to the student how important he or she is; they may then apply this newly-acquired self-esteem to personal relationships.
A horse may also help a person feel in control of his or her situation, since in dealing with horses there is a direct relationship between action and reaction. To learn how to care for (and ride) a horse, a student must also be able to communicate effectively with both horse and instructor. In this way riding is a social activity, but may be less daunting to those uncomfortable in social situations.
Riding a horse is also a unique experience and it helps empower a person and enable them to connect with others on a personal level. The sometimes-unpredictable nature of animals and situations also creates a real-life environment in which a student can confront his or her fears, and adjust to situations beyond their control. Children with disabilities love having a quiet, peaceful environment and so do horses, they can teach each other many things.
Therapeutic horseback riding has been used to help people with autism.This activity is said to benefit the communication, motor skills, and social skills of an autistic person. It also causes improvement in responses to verbal and external stimuli and relaxation. People with autism cannot ignore one sense and let another take over the way most people can. Instead, they see, smell, hear, taste, and feel, and think all at once giving them sort of a sensory overload that they cannot handle. Riding a horse helps them concentrate on just the task they are doing rather than everything all at once.
Many people might ask if it’s safe for someone with poor motor and communication skills to ride a horse. But while there are always some risks involved every precaution is taken. There are side walkers who help to stabilize the child and the horse is matched to the rider’s ability level. Proponents argue that the benefits of therapeutic riding by far outweigh the risks.
- Our students gain self confidence and self control. Working with their equine trainer, students experience a desire for responsibility.
- Our students develop increased physical coordination. Riding relaxes spastic muscles and leads to improved posture in sitting, standing and in overall balance.
- Our students display increased range of motion and muscle strength, increased cardiovascular function and physical stamina.
- Our students gain a sense of accomplishment and wellness associated with their equine partner. Yes, every rider loves their trainer horse. Their smiles and happiness are what motivate our horses the most.
Come experience the changes for yourself.