Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic Horse Riding is not something that everybody has heard of or indeed fully understands. This type of therapy is so much more than just simply riding a horse. Therapeutic horse riding is the use of horses and equine-assisted activities in order to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioural and educational skills for people who have disabilities. It not only focuses on the therapeutic riding skills but also the development of a relationship between horse and rider.
Our Therapeutic Riding sessions are on a one to one basis, we do not operate group sessions as each child’s needs are different, each session is tailored to meet their individual needs, we take pride in giving each child the time and attention they deserve. Therapeutic horse riding has been recognised globally as a very successful therapy as well as being a healthy and fun activity.

Theraputic Riding

At Olivia’s Special Horses we pride ourselves on making each visit a happy and fun time for the children while ensuring they benefit from each lesson provided by our Qualified Therapeutic Riding Coach. Therapeutic riding has a relaxing and calming effect on children, horses move in a rhythmic motion that mimics the human movement of walking. This promotes strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and confidence for riders.

Therapeutic horse riding has been used to help children with autism. This activity is said to benefit the communication, motor skills, and social skills of an autistic child. The amount of benefit gained through therapeutic riding differs from person to person based on many factors such as the type of disability, severity of disability, motivation of the rider and connection between horse and rider.

Proven benefits for people with disabilities include the following:

  • Improved balance and muscle strength
  • Improved coordination and faster reflexes
  • Increased muscular control
  • Improved postural control
  • Increased range of motion of joints
  • Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
  • Increased endurance and low-level cardiovascular conditioning
  • Stimulates Sensory integration
  • Improved visual-spatial perception
  • Improved fine motor skills

Many people might ask if it’s safe for someone with poor motor and communication skills to ride a horse. But while there are always some risks involved every precaution is taken. There are side walkers who help to stabilise the child and the horse is matched to the rider’s ability level. For most children with disabilities
the benefits of therapeutic riding by far outweigh the risks.