Therapeutic Horse Riding Essay

Therapeutic Horse Riding Essay

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Liz Hartel of Denmark acquired Polio in 1943 which caused serious muscle deterioration (Scott, 17). She was a horsewoman and doctors believed she would never ride again. However, in 1951 she started working with a Norwegian physical therapist and the following year she entered the Grand Pris Dressage where she won the silver medal. She is generally credited with the origin modern therapeutic riding. Then it was until 1970 that the first therapeutic riding center opened in the United States(19). In 1987 Americans and Canadians went to Germany to study hippotherapy and fiver years later the American Hippotherapy Association was founded.
Hippotherapy means the, “treatment with the help of a horse”(5 Scott). Hippotherapy according to Naomi Scott may improve, “abnormal muscle tone, impaired balance responses, impaired coordination, impaired communication, impaired sensorimotor function, postural asymmetry, poor postural control, decreased mobility, and limbic system issues related to arousal, motivation, and attention. Functional limitations relating to gross motor skills such as sitting, standing, walking; speech and language abilities; and behavioral and cognitive abilities” (6 scott). Also, Barbara Engel lists exercise, balance, stimulation, bonding, and happiness and pleasure as effects of therapeutic riding(Engel, 20). Sandra Ward also says,“Therapeutic riding emphasizes control, attention and focus, sensory management, and communication( verbal and/or non verbal) in order to teach riding skills” (2190 Ward). It is clear that therapeutic riding provides many positive effects for all children that have special needs.
However, research has recently been done on how therapeutic riding helps children with autism. “The horse is un...


... middle of paper ...


...g to tolerate multiple senses at once can help children with autism better fit into a classroom by being able to handle listening to the teacher, following directions, writing and tuning out other noise to be able to stay on task.



Works Cited

Therapeutic Riding: its benefits, professions, and divisions Barbara Engel

Scott, Naomi…Special Needs, Special Horses: A guide to the Benefits of Therapeutic Riding -list


Ward, Sandra…The Association between Therapeutic Horseback Riding and the Social Communication and Sensory Reactions of Children with Autism


Gabriels, Robin…. Pilot Study measuring the effects of Therapeutic horseback riding on school-age children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder


Theraputic horseback riding and behavior change in children with autism…Tolson, Sharon


Teaching students with special needs in inclusive settings…Smith


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