“Increase self esteem, enhance abilities and impact lives” 

Horse riding and interacting with horses, as well as being enjoyable, has many benefits.

These include:

*           improved balance and posture

*           the development of fine and gross motor skills

*           promotion of decision making and thinking ahead

*           motivation and learning – encourages reading and speech through games

*           development of hand and eye co-ordination

*           development of language and communication skills

*           memory improvement and concentration

*           personal challenge leading to achievement

*           new mobility and access to new areas

*           social integration

*           mental stimulation

*           increased self-esteem

*           learn the value of rules

*           promotes a general feeling of well-being

For many of those with physical disabilities, the benefits from riding in terms of exercise and improving posture are obvious.  There may, however, be a strong motivational factor, which can also be used to good purpose.  Exercise that my usually be tedious, if performed on horseback, may be performed with renewed vigour and interest.  The coach can also work closely with the rider’s teacher or carer to reinforce their literacy, numeracy or social skills.  This is simply using the motivational factor of the horse and riding in the learning process.

The benefits of riding combine both physical and psychological aspects.  It is a valuable segment of rehabilitation programs because, as well as having a therapeutic value, it is a stimulating and enjoyable activity.  It canalso be used to provide sporting and recreational programs to those whose opportunities for these may be limited.

Language skills are developed by bringing language into games and exercises.  Also in many cases, being with the horses seems to unleash some riders’ inhibition about talking.

Individual programs are developed for each rider and progress is monitored.  The classes are varied and include the use of games, music, co-ordination exercises and trail rides.

All coaches with RDA(NSW) Tall Timbers Centre are qualified and participate in ongoing training. RDA(NSW) Coaches have skills in horsemastership, safety, medical knowledge, first aid, teaching and the selection and training of horses.

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