ar-Raudhah Equine Centre, in partnership with PATH certified Instructor, Helen Jennings will be running Equine- Assisted Learning programs at the centre, from October 2016.
Therapeutic Riding is based on the beneficial movements of the horse. The 3-dimensional, rhythmical motion of a horse stimulates and works the muscles of a rider, often providing normal sensory-motor input of "walking" to the rider.
Exercises and tasks that would be dreary or considered a "chore" in traditional therapy settings often become fun and game-like, if they are part of a riding therapy session.
Physically, equine-assisted therapy takes disabled riders through complex series of movements, which consciously and unconsciously, use all the body's muscles. The horse rhythmically and naturally moves the body in a manner similar to the human gait, improving posture, balance and muscle control.
Cognitively, equine-assisted therapy helps to "ground the nervous system" and facilitates higher cognitive function, improves sensory integration and verbal processing.
Socially, equine-assisted therapy nurtures a positive self-image. Disabled riders often experience independence in a way that they have never experienced before. They develop an awareness of being part of a team. All riders have the ability to learn skills and grow in self-esteem, which they take back into their own worlds.
Emotionally, equine-assisted therapy provides the opportunity for riders to bond with the horse, instructor and volunteers, which assists in the development of trust. It is also effective in calming emotive outbursts and reinforcing appropriate behaviours. Contact with the horse and horsemanship training provides a non-competitive setting for learning. New abilities, self-discipline, improved concentration and risk taking build self confidence.