What is Therapeutic Riding?
Partnering with a horse to teach horsemanship skills to individuals with disabilities.
Why is this effective?
There are numerous benefits to working with horses. First of all it doesn’t feel like work. Being in nature and interacting with a horse is therapy in an of itself. Start working on grooming, picking hooves, brushing manes, putting on tack and you are working on fine motor skills. Get a horse to trust you? You are working on social skills and patience. Lead a horse and you are working on balance and motor planning. Ride a horse and you are working on gross motor skills and core strength.
Our Model is Different
After many years of working with individuals with disabilities, we have found some issues that were important and were not being used to their full advantage. First off, caregivers are very important. Rather than wisk students away from their caregiver into the hands of volunteers who change weekly, we ask the caregiver to join us. Many of our clients do not like change and having the consistency of knowing their caregiver will be assisting in class reduces anxiety and speeds up results. Also, most of our clients, if given the choice, want to ride outside. So all of our classes are outside, many times outside of the arena on trails in the forest. There is such a peace to this and opportunities for learning about nature present themselves constantly.
More links on the benefits of Therapeutic Riding