The Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

The physical benefits of riding take place as the movement of the horse is transferred to the passive body of the rider. The three dimensional swinging gait of the horse causes the rider's pelvis, trunk and shoulder girdle to react in ways very similar to those of a natural human walking gait. The gentle movement of the horse stimulates a natural instinct for the riders to balance themselves and maintain good posture. The riders typically go through a series of exercises that help to reduce spasticity, increase strength, coordination, flexibility and muscle control. 

 

Cognitively, the riders develop their memory, their ability to concentrate, communication skills, the ability to plan and problem solve. As the rider's skills develop their self-esteem and confidence increases and they are encouraged to set higher goals for themselves. They are thrilled when they realize they can manoeuvre their horse through obstacle courses and compete in the games, races and activities during the riding lessons. The riders experience success and accomplishment which transfers into other areas of their lives as they realize they are capable of achieving challenging new goals.

 

The benefits of this unique holistic therapy include:

• Increased balance, coordination, flexibility

• Strengthened muscles and normalization of muscle tone

• Prevention of contractures

• Increased attention span and memory

• Building the rider's confidence, independence and self-esteem

• Responsibility, caring and love of horses

 

 Imagine the feeling of riding a horse for someone usually confined to a wheelchair!