What is Therapeutic Riding?
Therapeutic Riding is a unique form of therapy that provides benefit to people with various disabilities. These can include physical, mental, emotional and even learning disabilities. Therapeutic riding is not new. There are records dating back to ancient Greece describing horses being used in the rehabilitation of injured soldiers. The potential of therapeutic riding was brought to public attention in the 1940’s when Liz Hartel, a polio survivor, won an Olympic medal in dressage training.
Many riders experience a connection to the horse that few activities can create. For riders who cannot walk, the horse is their feet, their vehicle of transport. Riding can help raise self esteem, it can also help participants in acquiring essential skills necessary for development and personal growth. Therapeutic Riding improves balance, strength and coordination, and creates trust and friendship between rider and horse.