Therapeutic Horse Riding for Adults
What Is Therapeutic Horseback Riding?
Once upon a time, medical treatment for mental and physical disorders was focused on Western medications and traditions. Now, researchers are embracing alternative therapies.
Equine therapy is often integrated into the alternative therapy process. It is known for relieving depression, reducing stress, and boosting self-esteem. There are several types of equine therapy, including therapeutic horseback riding. This article will take a closer look at what’s involved and provide information for finding equine therapy for adults near you.
Therapeutic horseback riding involves riding horses for therapeutic purposes. It is meant to boost well-being and assist with physical and mental disorders.
Why Horses in Therapy?
Horses are often integrated into therapy because they are known to provide a calming presence. They also mirror emotions to help people identify and cope with their feelings. Horses promote a sense of trust, and the act of riding allows people to boost self-confidence and overcome their fears.1
The Benefits of Therapeutic Horseback Riding for Adults
Physical Health Benefits
Horseback riding promotes muscular development and balance. Thus, it is good for people dealing with spasticity and neuromuscular disorders. Depending on the person’s condition, they may just sit on the horse or engage in horseback riding to help them overcome their issues.2
Mental Health Benefits
Equine therapy provides various mental health benefits, including the following:
Helps Identify and Cope With Feelings
It’s not unusual for mental health issues to affect how people identify and cope with feelings. A horse mirrors a person’s feelings during therapeutic horse riding, putting them in a good position to reach out and get help.
Many individuals with mental disorders have difficulty communicating their feelings. Some may be dealing with social anxiety, while others might not want to talk about what’s bothering them. Although horses don’t speak, they are great communicators. Once people feel this connection, they will be better able to communicate with others.
Emotional Health Benefits
Assists With Setting Boundaries
Some people with emotional disorders may not understand how to set boundaries for themselves and others. Horses have a very keen sense of boundaries that can carry on into the real world.
Riding a horse can be scary. Once a person gets on a horse and learns how to control them, they will successfully overcome fears. This will boost their self-confidence, putting them in a better place for dealing with emotional issues.
Horses are soothing and straightforward. They do not judge or blame. The relationship between a person and a horse promotes trust that can positively affect the individual’s relationships with others.
How Does Equine Therapy Work for Adults?
How Does Therapeutic Horse Riding Work?
Other Types of Equine Therapy for Adults
Various types of equine therapy may be integrated into an equine therapy program. These include the following:
- Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL): EAL involves working with equines to teach life skills, such as trust, respect, honesty, and communication. It can be valuable in helping a person achieve their personal and professional goals.
- Hippotherapy: Hippotherapy is a type of physical or speech-language therapy. The person is placed on the horse to better develop their sensory, cognitive, and neuromotor skills.4
- Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy: Horses are often brought into psychotherapy sessions, as they are thought to be helpful to people struggling with mental issues.
- Equine-Assisted Therapy (EAP): EAP refers to any type of therapy where a horse is brought in to promote healing.
Equine Therapy for Adults Near Me
While it’s essential to find a therapy center that provides this type of treatment, there are other factors to consider. These include:
The facility should provide a caring staff with extensive experience treating the disorder or condition of the individual seeking treatment.