You all have heard about the healing powers of dogs or even cats, but did you know that horses heal too? Many stables are offering therapy riding for handicap persons, mentally challenged individuals, and children with behavioral issues. These services are providing amazing results. Soldiers and Prisoners are also successfully participating in equestrian therapy.
Horses are said to have a magical healing power and provide one with hope, joy, and social acceptance. Handicapped children and adults are able to ride with assistance, and riding can provide physical as well as emotional benefits. Horses provide a unique neuromuscular stimulation when being ridden through their one of a kind movement. Horses move in a rhythmic motion that mimics the human movement of walking. While riding, the horses stride acts to move the rider’s pelvis in the same rotation and side-to-side movement that occurs when walking. The horses adjustable gait promotes riders to constantly adjust the speed to achieve the desired pelvic motion while promoting strength, balance, coordination, flexibility and confidence.
Horses heal the mind and give people with behavioral, or mental disabilities the satisfaction that comes from a sense of freedom, as well as the happiness brought on by caring for an animal. Brushing the horse is a calm and soothing activity. Caring for a horse teaches discipline and patience, while reducing stress. Managing one’s fears and working in harmony with a large animal can provide a Boost of Confidence in a child that struggles from emotional trauma and can be very rewarding.
Soldiers suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome are often relieved by the calmness of a horse. The soldiers learn to trust again. Abused or neglected horses are sometimes placed with veterans. Studies show that the suffering veterans are able to relate and communicate well with the wounded horses. Gaining a horse’s trust can help these soldiers to work through their own problems. They’re not going to forget the trauma they went through. Their positive behavior outweighs it.”
Prisoner’s get a little taste of freedom while trying to tame wild horses. Prisons from different states are participating in horse rehab programs with inmates, a privilege earned by good behavior. Some of the horses rehabilitated have been placed with local police agencies or border patrol. The experience is therapeutic for the inmate, providing a sense of trust and accomplishment.
The benefit obtained by equine therapy differs among individuals with different disabilities. However for many who are suffering, this type of rehabilitation is becoming very popular and producing awesome results.