In addition to the physical benefits for the rider (such as improved posture, muscle strength, and trunk balance), a human-animal bond develops between the rider and the horse, providing psychological benefits to the rider. Sitting astride a horse also can increase the rider’s sense of independence and self-esteem.
Individuals of all ages, disabilities, and conditions may benefit from therapeutic riding, including but not limited to people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, learning disabilities, spina bifida, spinal cord injuries, visual and hearing impairments, cardiovascular accidents and strokes, brain injuries, amputations, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy.
Local communities, 4-H members, and volunteers also benefit from opportunities associated with therapeutic riding by being a part of rewarding and memorable experiences.
Therapeutic riding is an equine-assisted activity that contributes to the cognitive, physical, emotional, and social well-being of individuals with special needs.
Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, or speech therapy treatment strategy that uses equine movement as part of the patient’s treatment plan.
Educational programs include summer camps, school field trips, and individual or group equine activities.
Certification workshops for therapeutic riding instructors are provided to individuals interested in obtaining PATH Intl. instructor certification status. Therapeutic riding instructors who are interested in teaching at a PATH Intl. riding center are required to achieve one level of PATH Intl. instructor certification. MSU Extension Equine Assisted Therapy Program staff host these certification workshops.
Additionally, MSU Extension Equine Assisted Therapy Program staff may assist individuals and civic groups with developing therapeutic riding programs in their communities.
WEST POINT, Miss. -- The groundwork portion of therapeutic horseback riding offers emotional and mental benefits to veterans who take part in a program at Mississippi State University.
Lance McElhenney of Webster County served in the U.S. Marine Corps around the world. Injured by a mortar fragment in Iraq in 2004, this Purple Heart veteran now fights a different battle -- with multiple sclerosis. One of his weapons is an old horse he named Archie, for Archibald Henderson, the grand old man of the Marine Corps.
STARKVILLE, Miss. – Therapeutic horseback riding is about much more than physical therapy.
Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the Mississippi State University Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, said participants first come to the program for the exercise, but they stay for the relationships.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Riders involved in the Mississippi State University therapeutic riding program will demonstrate their skills in a special event April 19 at the Mississippi Horse Park.
About 46 riders will take part in the second annual Therapeutic Riding Expo, which begins at 6 p.m. The horse park is south of Starkville at 869 East Poorhouse Road. The event is free and open to the public.
STARKVILLE, Miss. -- About 40 riders involved in Mississippi State University’s therapeutic riding program will exhibit their skills in a special event at 6 p.m. April 14.
Cassie Brunson, coordinator of the MSU Extension Service Therapeutic Riding and Activity Center, is planning this first-ever exhibition to showcase riders and volunteers. The program will take place south of Starkville at the Mississippi Horse Park, located at 869 East Poorhouse Road.