Equine therapy benefits individuals dealing with all kinds of challenges. Horses help the riders to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. The horses understand the riders in an almost magical sense and actually help to heal their spirits and give them confidence.
The work these horses do is challenging and they must be sound and healthy mentally and physically. The horses need to be fit so there are fewer physical or veterinary issues. Remember many disabled riders have a problem with balance, which puts strain on the horses back muscles.
Horses uses in these programs must receive veterinary care, massages, and chiropractic therapy to remain healthy. Horses best suited for equine therapy are extremely calm and easily trained to the different stimuli. The horses must be introduced to many different apparatus including wheel chairs and machines that lift riders on to their backs. Loud noises, sudden movements, things being thrown in the air are part of the daily routine for these horses.
Equine Therapy horses should also be given a break from the therapy work during their workweek. Trail riding, free time and exposure to other activities help keep the horses morale up. The last thing these horses need is to develop a sour taste for their job.
To find horses that work well in equine assisted programs is not always an easy task. Sometimes people actually believe they can donate lame or sore horses to such programs. Please remember the type of work that the horses will be doing and donate appropriate horses for these programs.
The horses are priceless and give 100 percent of themselves. The help they bring to others is immeasurable. Take a day everyone and visit an equine assisted program in your area, volunteer your time and see the magic for yourself. These horses change lives and deserve the best care possible.