Forum: Learning Disabilities and Special Education
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Therapeutic riding is an awesome resource! As someone who has extensive knowledge of horses and some knowledge of the therapy programs offered, I know hippotherapy offers a host of benefits to kids, especially kids with impairments. In addition to physical benefits unique to riding, it can be a huge confidence booster for young kids who otherwise don't have a lot of control over their lives and conditions to be on top of a horse. A lot of kids love the feeling of being off the ground, high and powerful. It also encourages kids to tune in and focus attention on the horse because they pretty much have to in order to stay balanced. You can see an explanation of the different benefits, therapies, and certified instructors in your area through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) at www.narha.org
I know from personal experience that my daughter, who has an as-yet-undiagnosed mental disorder (guessing organic brain damage or genetic problem), was like a different kid when being led around on our horse. Her face would absolutely light up! Unfortunately we had to re-home the horse a month ago because the cost of keeping one without our own land is simply outrageous.
Heidi, mama to 5 kiddos and an lost 11.25.13 at 11w5d