Psychological Benefits of Therapeutic Riding:
· General sense of well-being - Exercise in the fresh air, away from hospitals, doctors office, therapy rooms, or home, help to promote a sense of well-being.
· Improved self-confidence - Confidence is gained by mastering a skill normally performed by able-bodied people. The ability to control an animal much larger and stronger than oneself is a great confidence builder. Participating in events such as shows and play days add to the sense of achievement.
· Development of patience - Since the horse has a mind of its own, the rider learns patience as he or she attempts to perform skills on the horse when the horse is not cooperating. Repetition of basic riding principles also helps to develop patience.
· Emotional control and self-discipline - The rider quickly learns that an out-of-control rider means an out-of-control horse. Shouting, crying, and emotional outbursts upset the horse, which in turn frightens the rider. Riders learn to control these emotions and appropriately express them.