Children with disabilities receive many benefits from occupational, physical and speech therapy. They work in structured programs which are designed to help them achieve greater independence and to perform tasks that most of us take for granted. Physical and occupational therapy is typically provided in a clinic with specific equipment used for therapy programs.

Health Directed Riding offers Therapeutic Riding which compliments outpatient and school physical, occupational and speech therapies many riders are receiving.  The horse is a unique form of equipment which provides benefits that cannot be duplicated by any manufactured device.

The horse’s walk is remarkably similar to the human walk. A child that can sit on a walking horse feels the same movements that he/she would feel if they were walking. The movement of the horse’s pelvis, trunk, and shoulder is nearly identical to the movement of the walking human. The child’s muscle groups are naturally educated, actively and passively, while riding on a horse. This provides measureable benefits for muscle tone, strength, endurance, balance, coordination, and cardiovascular improvement.

In addition to the physical gains, children receive valuable emotional benefits from riding a horse. They are presented with an adventure that challenges them and allows them to  participate in a new activity that represents an accomplishment. They have fun and feel good about themselves. Riding a horse improves confidence and self esteem and causes the child to concentrate and focus on the activity which results in accelerated physical progress.