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Equine Assisted Therapy (EAT)

Benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy

What may first appear less therapeutic and more like play,  equine assisted therapy and lead line riding can help people with physical and mental disabilities. While there is little controlled research on the subject, physical therapists progress notes, as well as reports from physicians, teachers, and parents testify to its benefits.

These benefits include improved respiration, circulation, balance, and body metabolism along with greater muscle strength and agility. The warmth and motion of the horse mimicking that of the human body can also reduce muscle spasticity in the legs, back, neck and arms. Mounting, dismounting and grooming are also useful in enhancing range of motion. The gentle roll of the horse’s hip mimics our human three dimensional gait; anteriorly and posteriorly, side‐to‐side, and rotational.  People with disabilities like cerebral palsy or stroke acquire flexibility while at the same time develop and strengthen core muscles.
Psychosocial benefits that have been reported include improvements in self-esteem, self-image, and interpersonal skills. Many students also become more outgoing and autistic children have been known to communicate spontaneously for the first time with a horse!

Individual Developmental Equine Assisted Learning

One such program held on our property is IDEAL (Individual Developmental Equine Assisted Learning).  This program teaches individual self-help and independence skills to special needs individuals and their typical peers with the assistance of our equine friends.  Each student is assigned a provider that will remain with him/her at all times during the program. This program uses the assistance of horses to facilitate a natural love of learning. Individualized plans for each participants style of learning and individual goals are assessed and evaluated to match the proper horse and rider.

Learning with horses is a tactile, fun and motivating way to teach new skills and increase the desire to try new techniques, increase core muscle tone, fine motor skills and sensory integration while working atop a horse! Our programs are designed to grow with each participant and provide a new and exciting environment with each visit. Whether the need is sensory integration, crossing midline or learning environmental safety skills, our program is individualized for each participant depending on their ISP, IEP and therapy goals. This program is held each Saturday 9:00a – 10:00a.

Come out and see us in action!

More Therapeutic Programs…

At Robinson Ranch we currently offer several paths to a therapeutic experience for students.

  • Our Therapeutic Riding Program instills confidence and builds self esteem as students develop skills and strength to ride independently under the supervision of a certified riding instructor or certified riding instructor in training.
  • Plans are underway to develop our Sensory Trail which will offer riders a cognitive experience filled with objects that stimulate the senses of touch, smell, sight, and hearing. The rider is accompanied by our therapeutic riding team of side walkers, coaches and an instructor.
  • We currently do not have a Hippotherapy Program but it is being developed.  Clients of the Hippotherapy Program will work with licensed physical therapists to build new muscles, strength, flexibility, and balance, all of which help them as they develop their walking skills.