Therapeutic Riding has evolved into an effective and respected treatment method widely recognized by medical, psychiatric, and social service professionals worldwide for a variety of physical and cognitive challenges. Wikipedia Article on Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Research documents that therapeutic riding provides physical, emotional, and mental enhancement. For individuals with impaired mobility, horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves their body in a manner similar to a walking gait. This motion enhances balance, posture, mobility, coordination and strength. People with learning disorders or developmental disabilities are motivated by riding to increase their concentration, patience, and discipline. If psychological or emotional challenges are present, the unique relationship with the horse can help improve interpersonal relationships and interaction. Whether the limitation is cognitive or physical, all students benefit from greatly increased self-esteem and confidence.
While physical benefits include improved
muscle tone, balance, and posture, therapeutic riding can also
improve motor development and coordination. Therapists, instructors,
and volunteers often include tasks such as letter recognition
and sequencing in riding activities. The opportunity to give verbal
commands to the horse has also inspired some previously non-verbal
students to speak for the very first time!
At Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, riders experience the numerous benefits of therapeutic riding. For some, this is a rare sensation of independent motion. This new independence enhances confidence as they truly take pride in their abilities. CKRH provides for students with a variety of special needs. With the support of businesses and individuals in our community over the past decade, CKRH has steadily grown. We need additional support to continue to grow this worthy program.
We hope you will visit the CKRH site for more information. We have a new covered arena for the program that was a only a dream 6 years ago, and now is a reality. We held our first sessions there in June and July 09, with added classes all day long, allowing to the program to assist many many more students. More details here. Therapy can now continue year around, even in rain, heat, and snow. Thanks to all the supporters of the program who helped get this far.
CKRH still needs additional support to carry on the efforts of many.
Please Read More Here about helping this effort.
Current - Hoof Notes - Summer 2009
Therapeutic Riding is offered by similar programs in many communities across the country, and probably could be beneficial to someone you know.