What is therapeutic horseback riding?
Therapeutic horseback riding activities encourage stretching and strengthening of underused or underdeveloped muscles, improve posture and coordination, help develop gross and fine motor skills, increase the riders’ awareness of their body in space, and improve their range of motion. In addition, riders with challenges experience an increase in self-esteem and self-confidence, learn problem solving skills, and increase their ability to focus and stay on task. All of this while they are having fun!
What are the benefits of therapeutic riding?
Individuals benefit physically, cognitively, and emotionally from therapeutic riding.
Horses are extremely skillful in therapeutic settings because they mirror the emotions of the people around them. If a rider makes a lot of noise, displays an angry temperament, or is restless while riding, the horse will respond negatively. Riders are able to see how their behavior affects others and can change their behavior to have the desired outcome. Horses, like people, are more receptive when a rider makes a request instead of a demand. Riding a horse provides a unique recreational activity for many, but building a relationship with the horses has proven to be one of the most rewarding benefits of therapeutic riding.
Who is eligible for therapeutic riding?
Milestones serves participants ages three and up with a range of physical, emotional, behavioral, and cognitive challenges. Participants must be approved by appropriate medical and mental health professionals to be eligible to participate in therapeutic riding.