Therapeutic horseback riding beneficial for recovering U.S. servicemen and women
Did you know that “therapeutic horseback riding” may be beneficial for individuals who suffer from disabilities? Saddling-up may seem like an odd choice for therapy, but according to some studies, it is one of the best therapeutic activities for people with physical, mental, and/or emotional disabilities.
Why is horseback riding beneficial? Horseback riders must exercise awareness, perception, balance, confidence, and discipline. Best of all, most would describe it as an enjoyable activity. Most importantly, the focus of this type of therapy is on the rider’s ability, not his or her disability.
The Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program (NVTRP) is making waves. The organization, which is located in Clifton, Virginia, offers various ways to engage this form of therapy. Among the various methods, is “Hippotherapy.” A therapist uses the horse’s movements as a way to treat impairments and reach functional goals. Another method, “Interactive Vaulting,” tests strength, balance, and courage and resembles gymnastics on horseback. The risk of injury is mitigated, as the program can be tailored to each participant’s individual abilities.
Not only does the NVTRP offer various therapeutic riding programs, but it also proactively reaches out to those in need. The NVTRP has collaborated with the government to provide a riding program for recovering servicemen and women. A major aspect that should not be overlooked by people considering therapeutic riding is the team-building atmosphere that is inevitably created.