Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic Riding lessons are equestrian skill-based lessons for children and adults with disabilities. The focus of the lessons is skill development and progression while improving the rider’s physical, cognitive, emotional and/or social skills. Helping the rider reach their full potential is of paramount importance. Taught by a certified therapeutic riding instructor, and assisted by volunteer aids, the lessons offered are group, semi-private or private and are 45 minutes to 1 hour long. As much as possible, the riders participate in pre-mounted and post-mounted horse care. Riders that have physical, intellectual, cognitive, developmental, and learning differences can benefit from Therapeutic Riding. Benefits of therapeutic riding can include improvements in the following areas:

  • Balance
  • Muscle strength
  • Physical endurance
  • Range of motion
  • Circulation
  • Respiration
  • Sensorimotor integration
  • Help to activate weak brain areas
  • Confidence
  • Motivation
  • Human Animal bonding skills
  • Social skills
  • Responsiveness and adaptability
  • Flexibility

A simple way to differentiate between Hippotherapy and therapeutic riding is to think of Hippotherapy (treatment with the help of a horse from the Greek word hippos, meaning horse) as the horse controlling the movement of the student. In therapeutic riding, the student controls the movement of the horse.