Therapeutic Riding is the use of horses and horse-related activities to achieve benefits that enhance physical, cognitive, social, emotional, behavioral, and educational skills for individuals with disabilities or special needs. Unlike Equine Assisted Activities, that is geared towards goals related to a child’s disability, therapeutic riding focuses on riding skills and the relationship between the horse and rider.
Horseback riding allows the rider to use the entire body to steer, control and adjust the horse while maintaining their balance. The horse’s movement (gait) is rhythmic and mimics the movement of a human when they walk. As the horse moves the rider’s pelvis moves 90 degrees to the horse’s pelvis in the same rotation and side to side movement that occurs while walking. The adjustable gait (seat) allows the rider to continually adjust the horse’s impulsion (forward movement) that promotes core strength, balance, coordination, muscle tone, flexibility, motor planning, awareness, and confidence, as well as increased self esteem.
The rider will complete exercises on horseback that will help them to progress in ability and horsemanship skills. Basic skills are taught, such as walk, halt (ho), trot, and back, that allows the rider to safely control their horse. As they increase their skills they will advance towards becoming independent riders. The riding naturally increases posture, self-control, and problem solving.
Horseback riding and horse care gives children a feeling of freedom, purpose, and independence. There are numerous benefits related to riding including the sense of accomplishment, improved listening and communication skills, sensory awareness, concentration, and patience, just to mention a few.
Safety is the top priority of the program. All riders are required to wear regulation safety helmets, closed riding shoes with a heel and are supervised at all times by a horse leader and either one to two side-walkers, or spotter depending on their level of ability and skills.
Please contact us at 678-344-6821 or email us if you have any questions.