Horses are my Therapy!
Watching a therapeutic horseback riding lesson is a very rewarding experience, even if you know nothing about horses! By the time these riders practice their patterns & dressage maneuvers, it’s easy to forget that this same rider arrived in a wheelchair & cannot even adjust their own stirrups. The horse’s movement is three dimensional, rhythmical, repeatable, symmetrical and unable to be replicated in a therapy room. It lets your body experience the motion of walking while just sitting atop the horse. The mental/emotional benefits are even greater. Riders love to brush & care for their horses; filling water buckets & putting on blankets gives them a new sense of pride & accomplishment while teaching valuable skills.
So how can you help? Most therapeutic programs rely on volunteers for such jobs as leading horses during lessons, side walking & lending support to the rider, and performing various barn chores. Also, many centers would welcome donations of quality horse equipment, such as halters, bridles, saddles, etc. More information and a list of local stables can be found by contacting the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship at www.pathintl.org or 800.369.7433.