A Look at Equine Therapy for Children with Disabilities; Horses as Handicapped Vehicles
Throughout its use in the past few decades, equine therapy has become a viable and efficient method of improving the physical and emotional states of countless individuals. Have you ever thought of a horse as a handicapped vehicles?
While in the therapy program, kids will learn how to maneuver horses, and may even begin to perform tricks with their four-legged pal. Between the experiences and encouragement received from instructors and parents, children will gain a sense of accomplishment, which can significantly improve their overall quality of life.
Riding therapy provides participants with many physical and fitness gains, including improved range of motion, balance, posture, and hand-eye coordination. Additionally, horseback riding strengthens the core of the rider by requiring him or her to take control of a large animal and move in unison with the horse. Children with disabilities have also shown a marked improvement in their social skills after participating in equine therapy. By engaging in an activity in which they feel accomplished and excited, they are likely to develop better self-esteem.
Of course, the most prominent feature of equine therapy is a fun, exciting and rewarding experience for all those involved. From volunteers to instructors, children to parents, each person will cherish memories made during their sessions indefinitely.
About the Horses
Horses used in equine therapy are often donated to programs by neighboring farms or individuals. Each horse has its own personality and best qualities, something instructors and program administrators take into account when assigning a horse to a rider. While some excel at active exercises, showing off their many tricks, others are more adept for exhibitions or demonstrations, remaining very calm even where there are many people around. Overall, these horses are intuitive, forgiving and patient, with calm demeanors perfect for being handled by people with disabilities.
Find an equine therapy center near you and begin taking advantage of the many benefits that working with horses has to offer.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.