Riding For The Disabled

Dodderhill provide Riding for the Disabled on our own friendly horses with both ridden and non-ridden sessions catered for.

Our staff are DBS checked and fully trained.

We can provide tailor made packages to suit age, ability and requirements.

Why Choose Equine Based Therapies?

Equine-assisted therapy, hippotherapy, therapeutic riding (RDA)… these are all terms for physical and psychological therapeutic process that utilize horses as co-facilitators in the treatment process.

Individuals with almost any kind of disability, whether temporary or permanent, can benefit from therapeutic riding, which is essentially any physical interaction with horses that is guided by a person trained specifically in this type of equine-assisted therapy.

Research conducted by the American Hippotherapy Association has proven that the multidimensional movements of the horse provide a disabled rider with “the opportunity to explore, control and coordinate posture and movement”.

Horse riding gently and rhythmically moves the rider’s body in a manner similar to a human gait. Riders with physical disabilities often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength.

“Positive effects from the movement of the horse can be seen in motor coordination, muscle tone, postural alignment, stiffness/flexibility and strength. Other effects on body systems can and do occur as well. Changes are often seen in the respiratory, cognitive, sensory processing, balance, affective, arousal and speech/language production functions,” writes Joann Benjamin, PT, HPCS, in an article on the AHA website.

There are also undeniable, positive psychological benefits to therapeutic riding. First, there’s the simple fact that exercise boosts endorphin’s, then there’s the interaction with the horse itself. Horses are non-judgmental…they bring no prejudices to the process. Finally, there’s the huge boost in self-esteem when someone who has had difficulty controlling their body or mind learns to control a 3,000-pound creature that definitely has a mind of its own.