Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center horizontal divider  Team Work

Research Project

The Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry interviews Dr. Gabriels on Therapeutic Riding research in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder. Listen here...

The Spring 2011 issue of NARHA's STRIDES Magazine will be the first ever focused on research and CTRC's project is the feature article!

From 2007-2009 Children's Hospital and the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center (CTRC) conducted a pilot project that studied the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on 41 children ages 6-16 years. The results of the pilot study showed that, compared to when the study started, the children showed significant improvements in levels of irritability, lethargy, stereotypic behavior and hyperactivity as well as improvements in expressive language, motor coordination and motor planning, on well-regarded measures. Read about the study here, in a poster presented at the International Meeting for Autism Research!

In order to build upon the positive results of this pilot project, our team was successfully awarded a grant funded through the National Institutes of Nursing Research of the National Institutes of Health (NINR/NIH). This ground-breaking four-year collaborative project between the Children's Hospital, Denver and the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center will continue to study the effects of therapeutic horseback riding on school age children with autism spectrum disorders with the addition of an active control group on site at CTRC. In addition, the study will track the long-term effects of therapeutic riding.

Again, thank you for your enthusiasm about this ground-breaking THR research project! This research has the potential to benefit the lives of many children and to shape the future programs of the more than 800 therapeutic horseback riding centers across the United States.

Amy Shoffner, MSW
Community Site Coordinator /PATH Intl Advanced Instructor & Faculty
Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center

Robin Gabriels, Psy.D.
Principal Investigator/Associate Professor Psychiatry & Pediatrics,
University of Colorado at Denver, at Health Sciences Center
Director/Neuropsychiatry Special Care Program

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Study Results 

Outside Class

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