About Therapeutic Horseback Riding


Therapeutic Horseback Riding…

Through our Therapeutic Riding program at The MAGICAL Meadows, children, youth and adults with physical and/or developmental disabilities improve physical health, relax tight muscles, increase balance, build muscle strength, sharpen hand/eye coordination, improve social skills, and gain a sense of control and self-confidence as the rider experiences a freedom never felt before.

The horse’s soothing rhythm, strength, warmth, and three-dimensional movement pattern provides healthy exercise while improving circulation and muscle tone. The discipline associated with working with horses and the social interactions between peers benefit the mind and spirit while raising self-esteem and increasing self-sufficiency through accomplishment. The unconditional love of the horses is proved to reduce anxiety, encourage interaction and offer a haven where riders can feel a sense of empowerment.

Therapeutic Benefits…

Physical and emotional connections with the horse heal body, mind and spirit.

Physical Benefits:

  • Improved coordination and normalized muscle tone
  • Relaxation of spastic muscles/facilitation of flaccid muscles
  • Improved posture, sitting and standing balance
  • Improved gross and fine motor skills
  • Increased functional range of motion and muscular strength
  • Improved perceptual motor/sensory motor integration
  • Improved cardiovascular function and stamina

 

Cognitive Benefits:

  • Increased vocabulary – application and recall
  • Improved attention and concentration
  • Improved sequencing and planning skills
  • Improved judgment and critical thinking skills
  • Improved flexibility in thinking
  • Increased verbal integration and participation
  • Increased visual and auditory discrimination

 

Psycho-Social Benefits:

  • Increased self-confidence, self-esteem and self-control
  • Mastery of a difficult task
  • Increased understanding of consequences/cause and effect
  • Increased desire of responsibility
  • Improved positive social interactions and teamwork
  • Increased ability to appropriately solicit help and act independently
  • Increased desire to take risks
  • Increased empathy and sense of empowerment
  • Interaction with positive role models
  • Experience of success in a supportive environment

Riders are accepted to our program based on an initial evaluation. We follow NARHA guidelines in accepting riders. It is important to us that we do not take riders who will in any way be harmed by the riding experience. Once accepted, goals are set based on the initial interview, and riders are then re-evaluated as needed. Rider progress is documented on a daily basis in order to best determine success with outcomes.

Therapeutic Horseback Riding can help The HEALING process of The BODY…The MIND…and The SPIRIT.