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Windy Hollow Therapeutic Riding School 

Windy Hollow Therapeutic Riding School

Equine Facilitated Movement Therapy

What it is? What is the benefits are and why all children should be exposed to it?

"Movement is the door to learning. To live is to move." (P. Dennison )

In essence the development of personality is influenced by the motor activity learning process. Posture, balance, body image, laterality, directionality, locomotion and motor-visual perception are all-important aspects of harmonious child development.

For many years it has been the norm to give children various forms of mechanical or gymnastic exercise to develop. This is now all changing, it would cause may people astonishment to be told, that educators world-wide are recognizing horse riding as a valuable educational medium.

So how does Equine Facilitated Movement Therapy stimulate the riders sensory processes and aid in harmonious child development? The horses three-dimensional movement creates a natural, constant and rhythmical form of neuromuscular facilitation that can be called the drug free way to solve many problems facing of our children in a happy and disciplined manner.

The effects of the use of the horse as a therapeutic aid can all be related to the neuro-, senso-, psycho and sociomotoric development of all developing children regardless of whether they are challenged or not. Most disabled people find participation in sport or recreational activities difficult, but horse riding can be achieved with very little adjustment. ( Heiperts, 1989 ) Therapeutic horse riding can be the solution to gain optimal function. The horse produces 110 multi-dimensional movement dialogues in just one minute, and because we use over 300 muscles simultaneously, 20 minutes of un-amplified riding is equivalent to 3 hours of physical therapeutic exercise.

Which means that normal growing pre-school children will be given a better chance at additional cognitive development if they are exposed to riding therapy from as younger age as possible. (Porcelli, 1988). With no real age limit on therapeutic pupils and riders being matched in stature to horse or pony used.

The correct application of movement dialog or frequency of the horse will determine the achievement of a successful treatment rate, remember nothing remains immobile on the horse. This is specifically important when being applied to hypo-active or hype-active children as well as children with cerebral palsy or those suffering the ill effects of an accident etc. With not only the horses movement being important but also its body language and character being vital components from a psychological point of view as well.

Hippo or Equi-therapy activities are specially suited to improving-concentration, communication, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline, motivation, muscle tone, co-ordination, posture, balance and equilibrium reactions, creating a new found sense of independence. The physical health benefits include fitness and range of joint mobility.

Therapeutic riding is sub-divided into a number of different application strategies using the horses movement, these are designed to suit the rider at hand both physically and mentally, with a number of contra indications to be taken into account.

Within a therapeutic riding program. where possible therapy is offered in balance with achieving riding skills set in a safe and un-stressfull situation using basic normal dressage, equitation and jumping principles to create harmony with the horse.

Therefore therapeutic riding can be defined as a holistic educational system that reaches beyond the expectations of a normal riding lesson or a normal therapy session. It is where horse-riding skill are adapted to provide a specific benefit to any developing child.



Contact Details

NAME: Helen Du Plessis
Cell:��� 082 975-5369
Fax: 086 525 5611
Email:
helen@windyhollow.org.za