People with special needs and disabilities are just like us. They have goals, dreams, and wishes. It’s not like they chose to be handicapped, no-one does. All we can do is be there for them, supporting and encouraging them. A way that has proven beneficial is equine therapy or horse therapy. Horses are therapeutic for people with special needs because riding can strengthen their muscles; give them a sense of accomplishment or independence and lets them have higher self-confidence and self-esteem levels.
Equine therapy centers help strengthen muscles in children and adults with special needs and disorders. Many young children have used equine therapy to help strengthen their trunk muscles (the muscles in your torso). Riding can also help the brain and muscles learn the patterns involved in walking. Equine therapy achieves the same results as standard physical therapy, just in a more enjoyable, pleasant setting. Some disabilities cause children to have low balance and coordination skills which horses help to improve.
Riding helps them get a sense of accomplishment and independence. The North American Riding for the handicapped Association was created in 1969. It has over eight-hundred member centers across the USA and Canada. Those centers have helped more than 40000 children and adults find a sense of independence by working with the horses. When a child can’t communicate verbally, but can control a thousand pound animal, it gives them a sense of accomplishment that can’t be replaced.
It’s been proven that equine therapy can help improve their confidence and self-esteem. Learning to manage a horse helped regain their confidence in themselves. Riding has a lot of physiological experiences to help them regain and improve their self-esteem. Approximately 5000 children from ages 2-5 ride therapy horses and almost 7000 adults from ages 19-50 years old are benefitting from equine therapy programs. Many more children are showing...