It is an exciting (and scary) time. Some therapeutic riding centers are re-opening while others continue to find ways to offer services virtually and stay connected online. My current center is fortunate to be able to get back to lessons, but we are back with new restrictions and safety regulations to keep our clients, volunteers, and staff healthy. It has been difficult to stay motivated and make plans with the world on edge.
However, there have been a few silver linings! One is the health and happiness of our horses. Our horses have gotten regular exercise with balanced, experienced riders. They have less people touching them and their ground manners have vastly improved. Our staff has discussed how to keep our horses happy as the activity at the barn picks up.
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.
This pattern is another very fun pattern to do in lessons. It can be repeated for several lessons in a row and it can be done in a group or individual lesson. Spirals get smaller and then larger which encourages balance, core strength, steering, and independent use of aids.
This is a fun one! It’s interactive for the rider and works on life and riding skills simultaneously. It teaches life skills like communication, patience, pattern recognition, and cognitive understanding. It teaches riding skills like stopping, steering, balance, and forethought.
This is a fun game to play with clients that the parents and caregivers will love. I call it “clean up your room” because the goal is to put toys back where they belong. It’s a fun way to encourage clients to clean up their messes and take responsibility for their belongings.