The benefits of horseback riding are incredible!
Which is why horse lovers give their time to help others at organizations like Equi-Kids in Virginia Beach.
Equi-Kids Therapeutic Riding Program was founded in 1989 and serves over 137 individuals on a weekly basis. They offer many different lessons and equine-assisted activities to meet the needs of the individual. Their mission is:
“To provide, promote, and support equine assisted activities for individuals who have mental, physical, emotional, social or learning disabilities.”
They also have an “EQUI-Vets” program that offers physical and mental healing to active duty and retired veterans at no cost. To learn more about this program and how to register click here.
Here are some of the reasons why horseback riding is so therapeutic:
- Riding demands focus and teaches emotional control. Horses can sense what you’re feeling. If you are frightened they will know it. If you stop focusing, they will too.
- The body uses many muscles to keep in tune with a horses gait, which strengthens the rider.
- Riding forces patience, which in turn teaches forgiveness. Remember you are working with an animal who is also learning.
- When you’re on a horse that weighs 10 times your weight you have to trust them. And the horse is also trusting you by welcoming you to mount them. A bond and a mutual trust is created.
- And finally there is a sense of accomplishment. Riding a horse is one of the most rewarding experiences!
With all of these benefits it’s no surprise that horseback riding can be used as therapy with people with special needs. And the results have been astounding! Children who are nonverbal have begun speaking! Those that cannot walk have started walking! The results are real life miracles for many families.
“Equi-Kids provides the disabled rider with a feeling of freedom and independence that is limited in their everyday life”
Learn more about the benefits of equine therapy in this segment of Hometown Heroes!