Equine Assisted Therapy |Horses for Special Needs
Verified (2015) up-to-date list of Hudson Valley equestrian facilities (horse farms) that provide Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) and Therapeutic Riding. Find horse farms in the Hudson Valley that support and provide services to people with disabilities through equine assisted therapy (EAT); horse therapy for children and adults with special needs.
What is Therapeutic riding?
Therapeutic riding is the use of horses and equine-assisted activities in order to achieve goals that enhance physical, emotional, social, cognitive, behavioral and educational skills for people who have disabilities. Therapeutic Riding is an alternative treatment to traditional clinical settings; where the warmth and rhythmic movement of a horse can be used to achieve therapeutic goals.
What is Hippotherapy?
Hippotherapy literally means 'treatment with the help of the horse' from the Greek word, hippos meaning horse. Hippotherapy refers to the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment, especially as a means of improving coordination, balance, and strength. Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational or speech and language therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement.
Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT) Programs
EAT offers many benefits and can serve as a source of fun and adventure to a special needs individual. Find equine facilities for your special needs child or adult in the Hudson Valley.
Equine Assisted Therapy Programs and Therapeutic Riding in Columbia
Equine Assisted Therapy Programs and Therapeutic Riding in Dutchess
Equine Assisted Therapy Programs and Therapeutic Riding in Orange
Equine Assisted Therapy Programs and Therapeutic Riding in Putnam
Equine Assisted Therapy Programs and Therapeutic Riding in Rockland
Equine Assisted Therapy Programs and Therapeutic Riding in Ulster
Equine Assisted Therapy Programs and Therapeutic Riding in Westchester
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
Cognitive or Development Delay
Post Polio Speech Impairments
Spinal Cord Injuries
"The benefits of Therapeutic Riding are as numerous as the types of disabilities and conditions served. Research shows that students who participate in therapeutic riding can experience physical, emotional and mental rewards. Because horseback riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait, riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength.
"It is believed that for individuals with mental or emotional disabilities, the unique relationship formed with a horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem. The sense of independence found on horseback benefits all who ride. The therapeutic qualities of horseback riding are recognized by many medical professionals, including the American Physical Therapy Association and the American Occupational Therapy Association."
Therapeutic riding offers excellent results for:
Adults or children with brain injuries
Children with cerebral palsy
From: Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)
"Therapeutic riding uses horses and ponies to provide therapy, achievement, and enjoyment to people with disabilities. The act of therapeutic riding can be life-changing for adults and children with special needs.
About RDA: "At RDA, our horses and ponies provide therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities all over the UK. The key therapeutic factor in RDA is the movement of the horse. Riding provides physiotherapy on the move; the warmth and three dimensional movement of the horse is transmitted through the body of the rider helping you to relax, and strengthen your core muscles enabling you to become stronger and more supple. Many riders also find that riding helps improve their posture, balance and coordination.
"RDA research shows that our riders experience significant positive change in their capacities for communication, confidence, enjoyment, relating, physical improvement and learning horsemanship.
"Adults and children can not only benefit from therapeutic riding with RDA; some centers also provide carriage driving and vaulting, which is gymnastics on horseback, and hippotherapy, when a horse is used to provide physiotherapy."
Hippotheraphy is the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment, especially as a means of improving coordination, balance, and strength.
From: Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)
"EAGALA is a nonprofit 501©3 organization developed to address the need for resources, education and professionalism in the fields of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. The association has set the standard for professional excellence in how horses and humans work together to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide. In partnership with the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation (TRF), EAGALA provides an opportunity for a second career for horses retired from racing. EAGALA has more than 4,000 members in 49 countries and continues to grow."
What is EAP and EAL?
"EAP is a powerful and effective therapeutic approach that has an incredible impact on individuals, youth, families, and groups. EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems and communication needs."
"Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) is similar to EAP but where the focus is on learning or educational goals. EAL still involves the team of mental health professional and horse professional working with the clients and horses. The focus however is on education and learning specific skills as defined by the individual or group, such as improved product sales for a company, leadership skills for a school group, or resiliency training for our military warriors."
Brief History of Therapeutic Riding by Alexa Briscoe at Circle of Hope
"To be honest, nobody really does have a full understanding of that first part its origins. The fact is that there are historical accounts of people with disabilities riding horses as long ago as the times of the ancient Greeks, who recognized that horses had the potential to be more than just a means of getting from Athens to Corinth, or succeeding in battle.
"Some suggests that the ancient Chinese also recognized the horse in this manner. Therapeutic riding in some form or another has probably existed since that time of antiquity.
"However, the beginnings of modern therapeutic riding could probably be traced to turn-of-the-century England. At this time, Oxford Hospital doctors and therapists offered horseback therapy to soldiers wounded in World War I. By the 1950s, they were probing the possibility of making the therapeutic benefits of horseback riding available to people with a wider range of disabilities.
"1952 is a year often marked as one which provided unprecedented impetus to the therapeutic riding movement. In that year, Helsinki's Olympic Games, Liz Hartel, despite being confined to a wheelchair due to polio, rode away with the silver medal in the discipline of dressage. The Danish woman's achievement jolted medical and equine professionals throughout Europe, and soon many centers for therapeutic riding were established across the continent. Even the British Royal Family was impressed, and granted support for the founding of the British Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) in 1969.
"Simultaneously, word of the new therapy tool began to reach North America. Centers were developed in Canada and the United States, and North American professionals, like their European colleagues, quickly realized a need for an organization to govern therapeutic riding activities and provide information to the public. To that end, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) was founded in 1969. NARHA still provides training and education, safety guidelines, instructor certification, and center accreditation (which Circle of Hope has earned).
"Today, riders with disabilities continue to enjoy the many benefits of the horse. The field is widely recognized by medical and therapy professions, whose practitioners regularly refer patients and students to therapeutic riding programs. Hippotherapy (physical therapy on horseback, with the horse acting as a dynamic moving surface) continues to develop. Horses have become everyday heroes, helping and befriending people with a variety of disabilities."
Sources of information
Ride to Walk
Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA)
Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA)
Circle of Hope