• Victoria Gallagher

Wellness Wednesday - Therapeutic Horse Riding

The problem

Another professional report to read this week for my daughter age 9 with co-occurring difficulties. Lots of amazing strategies from her Occupational Therapist, Emma Penfold (a wonderful colleague). However, Covid looms and limits accessibility to support.

The solution

As a Mum I needed to think outside the box. What could I do to support her Dyspraxia and ADHD? Of course, therapeutic horse riding which offers physical and emotional rewards.

The benefits of therapeutic horse riding

Physical benefits

· Improved balance, strength and range of motion

· Improved coordination/motor skills, faster reflex

· Improved respiration/circulation

· Sensory integration

Psychological benefits

· Sense of wellbeing

· Improved self-confidence

· Improved risk management abilities

· Emotional control, self-discipline

Social benefits

· Friendship without any judgements

· Interaction with animals and nature

· Improved social skills

The result

My daughter has been engaged now in 4 lessons and in this time she is doing a sitting trot independently, using both sides of her brain to coordinate her balance and even more powerful is the growth in self esteem. No more black hat thinking; “I can’t do it”. She is one happy and energised little girl. The video speaks for itself!

Call for you

Try a horse riding lesson with your child/children - you may be tempted to jump on yourself. As a family this half term, we will be trekking out into the English Countryside!

Get in touch

Whatever your special education need or physical need, horses are accessible to all! We would love to hear about your experiences on our Facebook page.

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