Therapeutic Horseback Riding
A multi-disciplinary approach to therapy, where a team of Speech and language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists work together providing equine therapy. Therapeutic horseback riding has proven to be beneficial to many people with special needs. The most obvious and often the most immediately recognizable benefit is physical because riding is a very physical activity. The horse provides a dynamic base of support, making it an excellent tool for increasing trunk strength and control, balance, building overall postural strength and endurance, addressing weight bearing and motor planning. It also facilitates coordination and timing, grading of responses, respiratory control, sensory integration skills and attention skills.
Working with the THR instructor, our professional team of therapists formulate an activity plan specifically aimed toward achieving the therapeutic goals as outlined by the therapists. The activities may include throwing bean bags to a particular target whilst sitting on the horse, clipping small hair-grips to the horse’s hair, verbal commands to the horse, amongst others. Such activities can help to address goals related to sitting balance, eye-hand coordination, pincer grasp and communication respectively.