Therapeutic Riding - Freedom on Horseback
 By Holli   •   30th Jun 2010   •   5,703 views   •   13 comments
“Horses give us the wings we lack.” This quote rings true to almost anyone who has had the opportunity to ride and enjoy a horse. But it is a quote that especially near and dear to the hearts of the individuals and their families who participate in therapeutic horseback riding.

Therapeutic RidingBeing a volunteer of nearly 4 years now, I can understand it when the families and riders are lost for words when asked to describe what therapy riding has done for them. Therapy riding has given those children and adults who are disabled, either minor or severely, an opportunity to open up in more ways then one. I have seen those who came in a wheelchair, able to walk again, with the help of therapeutic riding. I have seen children who once refused to talk, now understanding complex directions, simple conversation, and so much more, because of therapy riding. It is a tool used nation-wide that helps the disabled learn to function normally through the use of equine aid.

When the horse walks, it mimics the movement of walking for a human, and causes them to use many of the same muscles. Also, many of the riders must take simple directions and communicate with the instructors and handlers, causing them to open up and talk a little more.

Therapeutic RidingFor many therapeutic riders, they use a therapeutic saddle. It has a very high back and a saddle horn. It has an 8-inch strap that comes around the rider’s abdomen and Velcro’s. The saddle is ultimately designed for safety.

When instructing a therapeutic rider, there are usually 3 people involved. There is a leader, or handler, to handle the horse and guide it during the ride. On either side of the horse are two side walkers who are there to be sure the rider is balanced. They also help assist the rider to help with reins and other objects. Lessons consist of many things including special exercises, learning games, and other things that assist the rider in therapy.

With the use of therapeutic riding, disabled people with everything to autism, physical handicaps, and other disabilities can learn to find freedom through the use of horses and a unique kind of therapy.
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No Name  
hey where is this at? and in what state?
  9 days ago  •  4,176 views
happy day  
it a great thing my favorite book is about that it's called colt by: nancy springer
  9 days ago  •  4,185 views
Marissa Beach: That is Elliott Acres in PA. :)
  9 days ago  •  4,204 views
I work there with Holli(we are good friends in RL...we met there actually!!). It is trully a great joy to see them changed through horses. I wish my horses didn't take up so much of my time now or I would be helping out still.

lylas Holli!!
  9 days ago  •  4,153 views
whats the cat for?
  9 days ago  •  4,181 views
We've got RDA here in NZ.(:

I go here,
I've got a disease, So I'm lucky enough to go there.

I go in the actual group.
Where I get to Trot, Just about canter etc.

But they do have the actual disabled people.(:

RDA does a brilliant job. They're awesome.
  9 days ago  •  4,197 views
where i live now where i board my horses they do this type of thing my mom she a volunteer they don't do it in the summer only when school start again
  8 days ago  •  4,191 views
where i live now where i board my horses they do this type of thing my mom she a volunteer they don't do it in the summer only when school start again
  8 days ago  •  4,191 views
Nights Banner-The cat is part of the therapy...sometimes we put her on with the riders and they pet the cat...they have to use their fingers and hands to pet the cat..petting her also helps them relax and use their muscles in the right way.
  8 days ago  •  4,153 views
I also volunteer at a therapeutic riding facility. Whispers of Hope Horse Farm in Wichita Falls, Texas. Been volunteering for 4 years also.
  8 days ago  •  4,218 views
Lovely article xD
I've been volunteering at a therapeutic riding center for just over a year now.
  8 days ago  •  4,181 views
It's so cool what it can do for people! I read about a thing called "Para-Dressage" or something in my friend's "Young Rider" magazine. It's competitive dressage for people with physical handicaps.
  8 days ago  •  4,153 views
well the cats really cute!
  8 days ago  •  4,181 views
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