Horseback riding is all about balance. Staying centered and balanced on the horse makes it easier to stay on if a horse spooks, takes a misstep, or does something unexpected. Balanced riders also keep their horses content. Think of a backpack on your back. If it’s sliding to one side, you are constantly shrugging your shoulder to center the bag. The horse feels the same way with an off-center rider.
In therapeutic riding, many riders struggle with balanced, centered riding so how do we work on it in lessons to make our clients better riders and our horses more content?
Therapeutic riding is an alternative therapeutic option that uses the horse to provide clients with a unique experience. The bare necessities for therapeutic riding are an instructor, a horse, and a client. However, there are some typical toys and equipment that most therapeutic riding centers (TRC) or places that offer adaptive riding will have.
Hippotherapy uses horseback riding as a form of treatment for clients under the supervision of an occupational therapist (OT), physical therapist (PT), or speech-language pathologist (SLP). The natural gait and movement of the horse provides motor and sensory input that cannot be replicated in a therapy classroom.
This is a fun summertime game that can incorporate a mounted and unmounted activity. It is very hot here in Colorado and July hasn’t even given us the normal afternoon thunderstorms to cool things down overnight. To make riding a little more bearable in the heat of summer, here’s a fun game to play.
Sensory trails are often utilized in therapeutic riding to provide a new perspective to clients and stimulate all the senses. Sensory trails combine natural and man-made elements that challenge a client’s balance, encourages interaction, and stimulates the senses. They offer a unique opportunity to experience the outdoors from atop a moving being.