It is widely known that the gait of the horse closely resembles the way people walk. By riding the horse, the rider is working the same muscles and for those who lack mobility this is very beneficial. The very act of being on an animal as large as a horse gives the rider a sense of power and control, builds confidence and self-esteem. There is also the trust that develops between the rider and the therapy staff and the horse, forming a social relationship which can be difficult in other situations.
And there is more! Just to name a few…..
Physical benefits include balance, coordination, muscle strength, posture, fine and gross motor control, spatial orientation and even sensory integration.
Additional Emotional benefits are seen in patience, motivation, sense of control and empowerment.
We know the Social benefits of teamwork, cooperation and empathy are woven throughout the therapy lesson.
There are also benefits to Cognition as well. Sequencing skills, problem solving, decision making, self-expression, following multi-step directions, and of course, letters, numbers, and colors.