Horse Riding as Therapy

Since the ancient Greeks recorded the horse’s therapeutic abilities as far back as 600BC, societies across the globe have harnessed the healing value of this magnificent beast to great success. There are countless organisations throughout the UK that nurture physical and emotional growth for children and adults of all ages suffering with a range of disabilities. Utilising a horse’s natural empathy, calming spirit and non-judgemental attitude, can reduce stress, improve self-worth, and generally make a massive impact to the lives of those that need it most.

Physical Power

The physical exertions of riding a horse can help increase muscle tone and strengthen joints, which is especially useful for people with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and similar complaints, and is a much more fun way of achieving results than working with monotonous machines at a rehabilitation centre.

Therapy Sans Talk

Whilst counselling for victims of abuse or those suffering from PTSD can be an instrumental tool in treatment, some people simply don’t respond well to talking therapies. Becoming involved with horse riding can allow such personalities to open up and often gives victims a feeling of empowerment, allowing them to take back control after months or even years of hopelessness.

Helping the Kids

Children or young adults with behavioural problems or autism can really benefit from supervised riding lessons. Despite their size, horses are inherently kind and gentle beings, and require a calm and placid approach in order to cooperate. This is particularly effective with teenagers displaying aggressive tendencies, as they must curb their anger before an animal will accept their advances. Furthermore, a horse will never judge a person based on appearance or disability.

Social Network

Simply getting out of the house and meeting like-minded individuals is also an advantage of equine assisted therapy. Sharing stories, helping each other and having fun in an open minded environment grants a great feeling of belonging, and a desire to keep coming back to further cement that precious and healing bond between horse and human.

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