Therapeutic Horse Riding

There are undoubtedly many people of all ages who love horses. Some are using them simply for recreational purposes, and others are used for various equine businesses. Another purpose they serve is for therapeutic riding.

What is Horse Therapy?

Horse therapy has become more popular because a lot of people are becoming proactive in their health. Individuals who are turning to this are viewing it as a form of treatment for a variety of different medical conditions. It has become so popular that there have been documentaries made about this that promote the value of it.

The Demands of the Horse

For those who have never ridden a horse, they assume its the animal which does all the work. Once they have tried it, they soon discover that it is a very substantial undertaking for the rider. Just keeping the proper position requires the use of many different muscles in the rider. This is where the medical benefits can come into play for those who are into therapeutic riding. It has the ability to:

  • Strengthen the spinal core
  • Improve posture
  • Enhance joint mobility
  • Help to maintain bone density

The Bond

Another amazing aspect of therapeutic riding is the bond which develops between horse and rider. This creates many psychological effects, such as:

  • Acceptance
  • Touch
  • Empowerment
  • Accomplishment
  • Nurturing

The Challenges

Therapeutic horse riding often allows the rider to overcome some of the challenges they may be facing both on a physical and mental level. For example, many suffer from communication skills to the point where it hinders them in their lives. When they are active in therapeutic riding, they must use communication to guide the horse.

This is where the breakthrough is realised. Once the rider can communicate with the horse, then they feel they have mastered something. Often this alone is enough for them to be able to carry over their new found confidence into a public setting.

Far Reaching Therapeutic Riding Opportunities

The more which is becoming known about therapeutic riding, the more uses it is being extended to. For example, it is being used in the treatment of:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Movement restrictions
  • Balance problems
  • Autism
  • Behaviour disorders
  • Psychiatric disorders

There is still plenty of research to be done concerning the benefits, but those who do participate in it will often say they are all the proof which is needed. Many are getting positive results.

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