Cerebral Palsy and Therapeutic Riding

Image by A_Different_Perspective from Pixabay

Therapeutic riding serves people with almost any physical, emotional, cognitive, or behavioral disability. I could keep this series going all year and probably barely scratch the surface of who therapeutic riding benefits. I decided to focus on these five disabilities because they are some of the most common needs we serve in the therapeutic riding industry.

We will wrap up this series talking about cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy (CP) is a blanket term for disorders that affect a person’s ability to move. People with CP may struggle to maintain balance and posture, may have difficulty with fine motor skills, and may have muscle weaknesses. This is where horseback riding can help, as long as the client does not have a contraindication to mounted work.

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Down Syndrome and Therapeutic Riding

from pixabay.com

Today, I am continuing our disabilities series today with Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that is commonly associated with developmental delays, poor muscle tone, and cognitive impairment. Early therapy interventions can have a positive impact on children with Down Syndrome. Therapeutic horseback riding may be one such intervention used to help with physical, cognitive, social, and behavioral issues.

Please note: therapeutic horseback riding is NOT therapy unless it is done under the supervision of a therapist in hippotherapy settings.

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ADHD and Therapeutic Riding

Image by Merio from Pixabay

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can cause difficulty staying focused and controlling impulsive behavior. It is a very common and may be a stand-alone diagnosis or a coexisting condition, typically diagnosed along with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

People with ADHD can be easily distracted, have trouble sitting still, and difficulty waiting their turn. These tendencies fit well with some of the benefits therapeutic riding or equine-assisted activities can provide.

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Autism and Therapeutic Riding

Picture from pixabay.com

I am kicking off a new series today! Therapeutic riding is becoming more popular and more well-known as a therapeutic option in the special needs community. There is more research being done on the positive benefits of therapeutic riding for specific needs, including veterans, depression, and foster families. This series will explore the impact of therapeutic riding on specific disabilities. We will start with one of the most common disabilities that therapeutic riding centers see is clients with autism.

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