Equine therapy has been used for thousands of years. Documentation has been found to exist as far back as 600 B.C. Therapeutic riding can benefit individuals with many different physical and mental challenges.
What is therapeutic riding?
Guided by an instructor, therapeutic riding benefits the emotional, cognitive, social, and physical wellbeing of the rider. Not only does it provide many benefits in leisure, but in education, sports, recreation as well. PATH certified instructors ensure safe riding sessions and have a strong equine background. Riding the horse moves the rider’s body rhythmically, much like a normal walking motion.
Many riders with disabilities claim to see improvements in their balance, strength, and flexibility. Often these instructors can work side by side with a person’s physical therapist to address certain areas that could use improvement for the patients.
What is Hippotherapy?
Guided by a therapist, hippotherapy is a tool used by physical, speech, and occupational therapists where the movement of a horse is used to treat patients. Often used to help a patient’s balance, posture, function, and mobility, this therapy is commonly used to help children and adults with disabilities. Hippotherapy has a wide variety of uses and has claimed to improve…
- Motor skills
- Core strength
- Respiratory control
- Abnormal muscle tone
It also is used to help certain symptoms related to…
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Head Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Behavioral Disorders
- Psychiatric Disorders
Equine Therapy for Mental Health and PTSD
This form of therapy is beneficial to children, teens, and adults who suffer from a variety of problems such as PTSD, anxiety, depression. It is also shown to improve traits such as confidence, empathy, self-esteem, emotional regulation, assertiveness, and social/behavioral functioning.
Some studies from 2020 indicated that Veterans who had been through a session of equine-assisted therapy showed short-term decreased PTSD and depressive symptoms. Another study showed improved ability to work and perform daily tasks.
Local Therapeutic Riding Services
We have many businesses in Texas that offer PATH Certified Instructors and Hippotherapy options. Pricing does vary, and if you’re looking into hippotherapy for yourself or a loved one make sure to contact your insurance to see if they cover as many companies have started to cover a portion of session costs.
Dream Catcher Stables
20907 Birnamwood Blvd,
Humble, TX 77338
SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship
4800 W. 34th St. STE D-6
Spring, TX 77373
Fort Bend Location:
3277 McCrary Rd.
Richmond, TX 77406
S.H.A.R.E. Special Horses and Riders Excelling
4996 Schehin Rd.
College Station, Brazos County, TX 77845
All Star Equestrian Foundation, Inc.
6601 FM 2738
Burleson, TX 76063
For a full list of PATH Certified instructors please visit…
Written by: Ashley Smith