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Therapeutic Riding | Hippotherapy | Participant Packet

Benefits

Intrinsically riding a horse is a beneficial activity for any person challenged with a physical, cognitive and/or emotional disability. The uniqueness of equine assisted activities lies in the gait of the therapy horse. The horse having gaits with a three dimensional swinging motion is a living therapy tool for the rider, enabling the rider to experience up/down, forward /backward, and side-to-side motion – all the while stimulating muscle, brain and social activity. Without a doubt equestrian activities, in and out of a therapeutic setting, increase a rider’s posture, balance, strength, focus and coordination while also positively enhancing flexibility, self-awareness, confidence and a sense of independence. Social and emotional growth is too gained from the natural bond created between horse and rider.

The physical benefits of therapeutic riding include:
As the horse moves, the rider is constantly thrown off-balance. In an attempt to rebalance the rider’s muscles are required to contract and relax.
    • Improved posture control and balance
    • Increased muscle tone and strength
    • Greater range of motion
    • Decreased spasticity
    • Better hand-eye coordination
    • Reduction of abnormal movement patterns

The cognitive benefits aide participants to excel in:
The repetition of patterned movements required in controlling a horse quickens the reflexes and aids in motor planning.
    • Development of learned skills
    • Tactile awareness and sensory integration
    • Improved application of direction
    • Greater skill at sequencing, patterning and motor planning

The overall experience contributes to emotional gains by the rider:
Riding provides excitement and the sense of achievement of working independently as well as with a team.
    • Independence
    • Increased self-control and awareness
    • Better emotional control
    • Greater self-awareness and self-confidence

The social benefits reaped by riders:
Being involved as a rider creates a shared interest and experience on which to build a social foundation.
    • Friendship building
    • Increased experiences
    • Improving social skills and cooperation

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Look No Hands

"CTRC is the best part of my daughter’s life in a world where she can not quite get on top of everything."

- CTRC Rider’s Parent


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