Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

“Therapeutic riding involves teaching the rider the necessary skills and techniques required to ride a horse as independently as possible. The emphasis is not only on the physical benefits of riding, but also on the development of the relationship between the rider and the horse. The self-discipline required to understand and control the horse instills a sense of responsibility and enhances task concentration in the rider. The autonomy associated with independently riding a horse also serves to promote the rider’s self-esteem and positive body image.” United Cerebral Palsy web page

Many studies have shown that therapeutic riding is beneficial to children with disabilities in many ways. Just a few of the areas in which therapeutic riding may benefit the children we serve include:

  • Balance and muscle strength
  • Coordination and motor skills
  • Respiration and circulation
  • Sensory input and integration development
  • Speech and communication skills
  • Self-confidence
  • Patience and emotional control
  • Empathy and respect for others

Responses to our first-ever Ride for Joy parent/caregiver showed that:

  • 90% saw an increase in their child’s self-esteem and confidence
  • 70% saw physical improvements in their child
  • 60% saw improvements in their child’s social skills
  • 60% reported an increase in the rider’s speech or communication skills