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Why Riding?


It is the horse's movement which has a dynamic affect on the rider's body. The horse stimulates the rider's pelvis and trunk in a manner that closely resembles the normal gait of a human. This movement can be used to produce specific physical changes in the rider. The benefits to our riders inlude normalization of tone, postural improvement,improvements in balance and increased strength.


The movement of the horse can help with a variety of Sensory Integration issues. A smooth gaited, consistently paced horse can provide needed input to help a rider establish rhythm, etc. A rough gaited horse may be able to provide a rider stimulation to help organize and integrate sensory input. Movement exploration while on a horse can help to improve overall body awareness.


The success of overcoming fear and anxiety can help a rider to realize self worth and increase self esteem. The ability to achieve a riding skill will also have a positive affect on a rider's self perception. For some of the youth that are involved in various activities at Great Strides, the farm and barn environment, the companion animal bonding and the development of new skills are all critical components in the success of the experience offered. The relationships that develop between riders, volunteers, horses and staff are all integral to positive, emotional experience at Great Strides.


The horse provides many of our riders with the motivation to learn many new things. Educational goals such as letter recognition and sequencing can be incorporated into riding activities.


Therapeutic riding activities enable individuals to interact with their peers in a group activity. Riding and the related activities are both fun and challenging.
Through the development of an Individual Riding Plan (IRP) for each of our riders, the staff at Great Strides is able to achieve individualized goals and objectives for each of our participants. We invite and encourage each of our riders and their parents and caregivers to actively participate in this process.

Copyright © 1999 Karry Bengtson. All rights reserved.