WHO BENEFITS FROM THERAPEUTIC RIDING

Research shows that therapeutic riding students can experience physical, emotional and mental rewards. For individuals with impaired mobility, horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves their body in a manner similar to a walking gait. These riders experience increased balance, muscle control and strength. Riders can also experience increased confidence, independence, and self esteem.

At RideAbility we work with both children and adults.

The therapeutic riding is beneficial to individuals with psychological, physical, social, and emotional disabilities, include but are not limited to:

  • Cognitively challenged
  • Down Syndrome
  • Developmental Delay
  • Autism
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder
  • Developmental Disabilities
  • Attention Deficit Disorder
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Emotional Disabilities
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
  • Cancer patients
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Visual Impairments
  • Paralysis
  • Brain Injuries
  • Sensory Integration Disorder

There is a unique bond that is formed between rider and a horse. Individuals with learning disorders or developmental disabilities are motivated by riding, as well as, unmounted lessons to increase concentration, patience and discipline.


What Sort of Skills, Conditioning and Abilities can be Achieved Through Therapeutic Riding?
 
A disability does not have to limit a person from riding horses. In fact, experiencing the motion of a horse can be very therapeutic. Because horseback riding rhythmically moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength. In addition to the therapeutic benefits, horseback riding also provides recreational opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors.  We believe all of our riders are gifted and have special talents and only ABILITIES.
 

  • Physical conditioning (core strength, balance, motor skills)
  • Cognitive development (awareness, decision-making, judgment)
  • Emotional development (self-esteem, independence)
  • Teamwork and social skills (general citizenship skills)
                                                                  EQUINE ASSISTED ACTIVITIES


Why Use a Horse?

 

Horses and riders have been doing great things together for thousands of years. Horses have allowed their riders to go places, and do things, that they more than likely would not have been able to experience on their own. And so it is at RideAbility; we provide riders with the chance to develop skills, conditioning and abilities that they might not otherwise have had a chance to obtain. Therapeutic riding begins with gentle exercises performed on horseback. These exercises include such things as leaning forward to pet the horse's neck, leaning backwards to pat his rump, twisting left and right in the saddle. Physically, the horse in motion, moves a rider with disabilities rhythmically and naturally through space in a way that simulates the human walking gait.

Learning to ride a horse requires balance and coordination. Many physically challenged clients lack muscle tone, and consequently, their coordination is severely lacking. Equine therapy gives a disabled client a physically enjoyable experience (learning to ride a horse) that also helps improve muscle tone, balance, and coordination. It also helps the client develop and improve upon hand-eye coordination. At RideAbility, we add to the skills of standard therapies by offering a rich and success-driven program.”

 
                    

RideAbility prides itself on not only having our students ride, but we also incorporate, unmounted activities throughout the series. Many unmounted activities include, grooming, bathing, games, team work and social interaction with our horses. Students will be screened to evaluate if unmounted lessons are appropriate for them.

When riding, each rider is assisted by "walkers" who make sure that he remains secure in the saddle while performing the exercises. The rhythmic movement of the horses walk can stimulate nerves and the exercises increase mobility. Riders who start out completely dependent on helpers may eventually become independent and be able to go places and do things on the back of a horse that they could not otherwise do and even participate in competitions. 

These benefits can cross over into their non-riding lives too, with an increased ability to perform daily tasks. Riding therapy can be helpful to physically and emotionally challenged children and adults in a number of ways. People who might otherwise be confined to a wheelchair ultimately gain a new independence and mobility on the back of a horse. At RideAbility our professional staff and volunteers work closely with riders to ensure safe riding sessions. A new rider is generality assisted by two side walkers who walk alongside the horse, as well as a horse leader. 

Therapeutic Riding can be beneficial for clients with not only a physical limitation, but disorders such as 
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, including Cancer and other life altering trauma. 

Riding classes are taught by an instructor who has a strong equine background, as well as an understanding of various disabilities.


 


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