The Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

1321 Words6 Pages
As of 2011, it has been reported that there are 650 million disabled people in the world (“Disabilities”). Though this number is high, it is greatly underestimated because disabled people are commonly isolated and stigmatized by their community (“Disabilities”). After hearing of this extremely high number of disabled people, I then ultimately decided I would write my research paper on ways to help the disabled. Therapeutic riding has been actively helping individuals with disabilities for decades, and can benefit these unfortunate people physically, mentally, and emotionally. “Therapeutic riding, which originated in Europe, has been actively helping individuals with disabilities since the 1950's” (Shepard). Through equine-orientated activities, therapeutic riding is used to contribute to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well being of people with emotional issues and disabilities (Shepard). I was astonished on how many ways therapeutic riding can benefit disabled people.

I began to wonder where and how therapeutic riding originated. In my research I found that therapeutic riding was not taken seriously until Liz Hartel, a Danish rider who had paralysis from poliomyelitis, advanced to competitive riding. Despite the fact that Liz suffered from poliomyelitis, she “went on to win a silver medal in the Grand Prix Dressage competition at the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games” (Young). After she won this great achievement, an interest around the world in the therapeutic effects of riding emerged; as a result, therapeutic riding programs were established and studies were initiated (Young). I think it is ironic how a person with a disability is so influential in helping other people with disabilities.

One of the obviou...

... middle of paper ...

...k! | Ready to Act? Set to Learn More? The World Bank, 2011. Web. 22 Mar. 2011. .

Favali, Vanessa, and Martin Milton. "Disabled Horse-Rider's Experience Of Horse-Riding." Existential Analysis: Journal of the Society for Existential Analysis 21.2 (2010): 251-262. 7 Mar. 2011.

Rogan, Pamela. "Equine Assisted Therapy And Activities." Welcome to Harmony Farms -- Horses for the Handicapped. Web. 08 Mar. 2011. .

Shepard, Libby. "The Benefits of Therapeutic Riding." Therapeion Therapeutic Riding Center. Web. 07 Mar. 2011. .

Young, Rhoria Lee, and Maggie Bracher. "Horsemastership part 2: Physical, psychological, educational and social benefits." International Journal of Therapy & Rehabilitation 12.3 (2005): 120-125. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.

More about The Benefits of Therapeutic Riding

Open Document