The Benefits Of Riding
Riding horses and ponies is an excellent way of giving people with physical and mental disabilities a sense of independence and freedom. The horse’s movements stimulate the mind and muscle responses from disabled children. Riding demands both physical and mental concentration and the horse responds to direct and clear body language. Thus the rider experiences a range of movement sensations from jerky, bouncy, lazy or smooth feelings.
The horses also evoke the sensory experiences of smell, warmth and touch.
Huge benefits have been demonstrated in disabled riders with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. Whether a rider is blind, deaf, mentally impaired, or suffering from one of the above disabilities, horse riding can really enrich their lives.
The benefits for disabled riders are:
~Relaxation of tight joints through the gentle movement of the horse
~Development of balance and co-ordination
~Exercise and strengthen seldom used or tense muscles
~Promote a sense of well being and increased confidence for the rider
~Meet a new challenge and give the rider a real sense of achievement
~Explore the open countryside not usually accessible to disabled people
~Have some fun and create a memorable occasion
~Meeting new friends in both helpers and the horses