Therapeutic Riding Emily Gonzales

Therapeutic riding: equine activity that involves assistance and equine skills. Usually this is done individually or as a group. This all depends on the rider and the level of skills. sometimes it is easier to just focus on 1 rider. The goal of therapeutic riding is to help with the following:


Disabilities that Therapeutic Riding benefits:

  • ADD
  • ADHD
  • Dementia
  • Autism
  • Down Syndrome
  • Depression
  • Trauma
  • Those who suffer from anxiety
  • Mental Health Problems
  • Those who suffer from brain injuries
-Having a Disability should not limit a person from riding-
Therapeutic Riding builds confidence

Cognitive benefits


Physical Benefits include:

Builds Muscle-Balance-Posture-Strengthens muscles-motor skills

An example of how it helps motor skills is the rider getting on and off the horse. This helps with gross motor skills

Emotional /Social:

Self Worth- Able to build trust- Communication-Confidence in one's self- Social Skills- pushes Limits-Boundaries-Positive Attitudes-responsibility-respect

Some problems seen with therapeutic riding is that it is not something that is covered by insurance, some see it as more dangerous than helpful, and its controversial. Controversial meaning some do not see the benefits in therapeutic riding and do not believe that there are any that can come from riding.


Equine assisted activities is also part of the therapy. These are done before riding as well as after. These activities are extremely important for the rider to know in order to take care of the horse. It helps to build a bond between the horse and the rider. It also helps with the overall relationship with horse and rider. You take care of the horse when you are not riding and the horse takes care of you while you are riding. It also requires you to listen and being careful as well as aware.


  • Bringing horse in from the stall or the paddock- The rider will retrieve the horse from where they are. They will walk with the horse up to the cross ties and latch them on. This deals with trust as well as your emotions because again horses can smell your fear.
  • Brushing/Currying the horse
  • Hoofpicking again this deals with trust of the horse and the rider as well as instructions from the instructor. This is lifting up the horses foot and getting any excess dirt and also making sure there is no rocks in the foot.
  • Putting on the saddle as well as the bridal
  • Untacking
  • Cooling down the horse by walking them around on a lead line and letting them eat grass
  • Usually this all happens with an instructor to make sure the student is doing it right


  • Mounting
  • Steering
  • Pointing toes
  • Posting
  • Two-point
  • All these require you to use both your arm muscles as well as your leg muscles. It does take time but after a while the child depending on the disability may be able to do these exercises by themselves.
PATH 2015-Current

The Horse Plays a big part in the Therapy. You can make a connection with a horse unlike any other animal. Horses have a gre

Role of Horse:

  • Can perceive changes quickly
  • Body language
  • Can understand the riders tone of voice
  • Sense someones biochemistry
  • Horses have excellent memories
  • Able to sense and understand one's emotions
  • All these qualities makes horses a good choice for use of therapy

This video is from Cross Bridges Therapeutic Riding Center

Thank you!

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.