Is Horseback Riding Good Therapy for Riders with Disability?
October 28, 2022
There is a common misconception that horseback riding is just for people who are physically able-bodied. This could not be further from the truth! In fact, horseback riding is an excellent therapy for riders with disabilities. Whether you have a physical disability, cognitive impairment, or genetic disorder, equine therapy can help improve your quality of life.
In this blog post, we will discuss the Is Horseback Riding Good Therapy for Riders with Disability and how you can get involved in this therapeutic activity.
Horseback riding is an equestrian activity that involves mounting and riding a horse. People can use it for recreation, competition, or transportation. Apart from these activities, horses can also be used in therapy. According to experiences by occupational and physical therapists, this exercise has a significant effect on patients.
The session will include basic tasks such as grooming, tacking, walking, and riding the horse to keep things interesting. Horseback riding has been shown to benefit riders with disabilities, including improved physical fitness, cognitive function, and emotional well-being.
There are many benefits to horseback riding for people with disabilities. These benefits include improved physical fitness, cognitive function, and emotional well-being. Physical fitness is one of the main benefits of horseback riding for people with disabilities. When you ride a horse, you are using all of your muscles.
This is an excellent workout for your entire body! In addition, horseback riding can help improve your balance and coordination. This is especially great for people with disabilities such as:
- Downs Syndrome
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Multiple Sclerosis
Cognitive function is another critical benefit of horseback riding for people with disabilities. Riding a horse requires focus and concentration. It is a great way to improve your attention span and problem-solving skills. Horseback riding can also help improve your memory and reasoning skills. Equine therapy is reported to help people with cognitive disabilities, including:
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Traumatic brain injury-related injuries
Emotional well-being is another benefit of horseback riding for people with disabilities. Horseback riding can be very calming and relaxing. It can help reduce stress and anxiety levels.
In addition, horseback riding can boost self-confidence and self-esteem. Many emotional disorders can be treated through equine therapy. Some of these disorders include:
– Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
– Bipolar Disorder
– Social Anxiety Disorder
- Improved coordination
Horseback riding requires the use of all your muscles. This is a great workout for your entire body and can help improve your coordination.
- Improved balance
Riding a horse helps improve your balance. This is especially beneficial for people with disabilities such as Down’s syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injuries.
- Improved fitness
Horseback riding is a great way to get exercise. It can help improve your cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and flexibility.
- Reduces muscle spasms
Horseback riding has been shown to reduce muscle spasms. This benefits people with conditions such as cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis.
- Improved attention span
Riding a horse requires focus and concentration. This can help improve your attention span.
- Improved memory
Horseback riding can help improve your memory. This benefits people with disabilities such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- Improved problem-solving skills
Horseback riding can help improve your problem-solving skills. This is beneficial for people with disabilities such as traumatic brain injury and attention deficit disorder.
- Reduced stress and anxiety
Horseback riding can be very calming and relaxing. It can help reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
- Boosted self-confidence and self-esteem
Horseback riding can boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. This is beneficial for people with emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. A study showed that horseback riding reduced depression by up to 30%.
- Improved social skills
Horseback riding can help improve your social skills. This is beneficial for people with social anxiety disorder and autism spectrum disorder.
No, it is not. However, many therapists and doctors recommend using it to supplement traditional treatment. These combined efforts often produce great results.
Horseback riding is a great recreational activity for people living with disabilities. Equine therapy helps empower and improve their lives whether they have physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities.
Yes, horseback riding can help people with disabilities in many ways. It can improve their attention span, memory, problem-solving, and social skills. It can also reduce stress and anxiety levels and boost self-confidence and self-esteem.
Horseback riding can help people with physical disabilities, cognitive impairments, and genetic disorders. It can also help people with emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
There is no set answer to this question. It depends on the individual’s needs and goals. Some people may ride once a week, while others may ride multiple times a week.
Some risks are associated with horseback riding, but these can be mitigated with proper safety precautions. Some of the risks include falls, injuries, and horse bites.
Horseback riding is open to everyone, but it is essential to consult with a doctor or therapist before starting, especially for people with certain medical conditions.
First, therapists believe that the rider should choose their horse. This helps boost their confidence as they wait to start the session. After that, the rider should start grooming and tacking the horse. This is also part of the therapy session as it helps the rider get a sense of accomplishment in something they’ve done on their own.
It also helps them to bond with the animal before mounting the saddle. After the horse is groomed and tacked, the rider then gets on the horse. In most cases, there are usually three people on the call to assist the rider. There is one assistant on either side and one on the horse with the rider to guarantee safety of the rider.
However, the set-up might change from centre to centre according to what the rider needs.
Some professional coaches attend these sessions to help the riders do everything correctly on the horse.
Yes, equine competitions for people with disabilities (Para-equestrian) do exist. Horseback riding is one of the most popular Paralympic sports. There are many types of equine competitions for people with disabilities, including dressage, show jumping, and eventing.
Therapeutic riding, or equine-assisted therapy, is a form of rehabilitation that uses horseback riding as a treatment tool. On the other hand, hippotherapy is a form of physiotherapy that uses the horse’s movement to provide treatment.