Our connection to horses is a powerful one and is beneficial to individuals with special needs. Therapeutic riding is recognized as one of the more progressive forms of therapy.
Program Manager at Sari therapeutic riding, Janine Langley says it provides physical, social, cognitive, and emotional benefits to riders with disabilities. Riding inspires self confidence in the participates while improving their overall well-being.
“It comes down to the horse as a big motivator for improved behavior and improved self-regulation in students. Things like saying please and thank you, eye contact, or high fives.” -Langley
Individuals with cerebral palsy benefit a great deal from therapeutic horseback riding. Horses have a unique movement pattern that stimulates normal walking patterns through their pelvis. It helps improve balance, coordination and stretches the participant’s muscles.
Danielle Gallant is a rider at Sari therapeutic riding who lives with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Her mother Michele says that riding is always the highlight of her week.
“If you ask her, what she says is that she just loves the freedom. So it’s just for her it’s more about the joy of riding on a horse” -Michele Gallant