Therapeutic Riding provides healthy exercise to individuals with special needs by allowing them to participate in equine assisted activities in a success-oriented environment. Learning how to ride a horse challenges multiple muscle groups, provides tactile and vestibular sensory input and increases a person’s awareness of social and environmental cues. Therapeutic horseback riding involves individualized riding instruction with specific therapeutic goals, along with lessons in safety and grooming to nurture the unique relationship between the person and horse. Hippotherapy is another type of equine therapy with a specially trained horse and rehabilitation therapist. The therapy sessions use the natural movements of the horse as a treatment for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy goals. Therapeutic Benefits:
All these measurable therapeutic benefits come without the rider even being aware of being in therapy! The benefits are not only physical in nature or reserved for individuals with physical disabilities. There are emotional and psychological benefits as well. Horses are non-judgmental. They provide a strong shoulder to lean on and they do not shun people who are a little different. Improves balance and coordination Provides passive stretch for tight muscles Replicates a muscle movement pattern like that of walking Improves posture Strengthens muscles by encouraging muscular response Increases awareness of one's body in space (special awareness) Stimulates the vestibular, nervous and circulatory systems Improves range of motion Skills for Success
The skills learned in riding class can be applied elsewhere in the lives of students. Each time the student has a success in riding, such as learning that there is a way, though it may not always be easy, he or she learns to problem solve in a safe, successful-oriented environment. Its a win~win! Therapeutic Riding may also benefit those having difficulty with school lessons, as school material such as learning colors and numbers and right/left discrimination is often incorporated into the riding lesson. But, learning on horseback is fun. Most of the time, the students do not even realize that they are learning much more than just how to ride! What they learn in their riding class is often carried back into the classroom without the students ever realizing it. Reinforces standards of behavior Teaches trust through the rider/horse bond Teaches problem solving skillsIncreases self-confidence and self-discipline Teaches the use of patience to control the horse Enhanc
Purposeful Refuge is dedicated in providing life~changing therapeutic equine~assisted experiences for children and families with physical, emotional and behavioral challenges.