It can be a little tricky helping a young person, who spends most of their day in a wheelchair, saddle up on a horse. They’re a little apprehensive at first…
…but once some confidence sets in, there is nothing stopping them! It also helps when they see their carers having a go!
Horse riding has immense therapeutic value for our kids. They gain interaction with the horses, which creates a sensory experience for them and teaches them responsibility and care. The rhythmic movements of the horse give the kids a full body work-out as it promotes increased mobility, strength, coordination, balance as well as postural control and increases their levels of concentration, self-awareness, self confidence, patience and discipline. The horse’s soothing rhythm, strength, warmth and three-dimensional movement provides healthy exercise for our kids.
Communication and cognition are also stimulated as they are encouraged to identify objects within their environment and thus their vocabulary is also enhanced.
Basic therapeutic activities are also carried out with the kids who wait with the facilitators while the others are horse riding. These include obstacle courses, which facilitate hand eye-coordination and gross motor skills. And those who don’t ride yet, help with leading the horse around the arena – everyone’s involved!
The kids thoroughly enjoy these horse riding sessions, they experience such a sense of freedom and confidence in who they are and they look forward to it every week.
Thank you to Amber and the team at Avalon Riding School for the valuable weekly sessions with our kids!