The Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

1310 WordsJun 20, 20186 Pages
As of 2011, it has been reported that there are 650 million disabled people in the world (“Disabilities”). Though this number is high, it is greatly underestimated because disabled people are commonly isolated and stigmatized by their community (“Disabilities”). After hearing of this extremely high number of disabled people, I then ultimately decided I would write my research paper on ways to help the disabled. Therapeutic riding has been actively helping individuals with disabilities for decades, and can benefit these unfortunate people physically, mentally, and emotionally. “Therapeutic riding, which originated in Europe, has been actively helping individuals with disabilities since the 1950's” (Shepard). Through equine-orientated…show more content…
The horse can be used as a motivator to increase their attention span, to improve the ability to follow instructions, to increase their language skills, and to improve other similar goals. These skills are carried out through the daily lives of these disabled people. They can practice them at home, at school, and at their workplace. While riding, disabled people can play games such as Red Light/Green Light, which incorporates hand and eye coordination, and verbal commands to control the horses. Just by saying commands like whoa, walk, and trot, these techniques can really help some disabled people with their verbal communication skills (Rogan). I was astonished to find out that disabled people can greatly benefit from their therapeutic riding, even when outside of the arena. The idea of someone being with an animal to improve his or her people skills is intriguing. My research suggests that disabled riders may possibly gain better people skills and sensations by being with a horse, rather than talking with a sophisticated human being. In my research, I found that www.sire-htec.org had a great description of how a disabled person would feel on top of a horse. It stated, the horses “rhythmic movements help stiff or spastic muscles to relax, much like rocking soothes a crying baby” (“Benefits”). This information was very helpful when discussing the
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