Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Let's Get Moving!

The first time my husband went horseback riding he was warned, "You're going to be so sore!"

Riding a horse works muscles you didn't even know you have. This makes it a perfect animal for strength training and some physical therapists are doing exactly that!

If you are intrigued by the idea that riding a horse helps build core muscles, balance, and stamina you can easily search for a place that uses hippotherapy near you. PATH International, formerly NAHRA, is a the accrediting body over all therapeutic horsemanship groups and they currently have about 800 centers around the world registered.

I checked out  websites from a few of the many accredited groups that listed "backriding/tandem hippotherapy" as an activity they offered. Here are a couple that stuck out to me:

Bit-By-Bit explains the usefulness of hippotherapy in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy.

Canyon Ranch Physical Therapy, Inc. is a physical therapy clinic that happens to be in a barn. They treat all of their patients using hippotherapy.

Haven Hills Therapeutic Riding Center introduced me to this wonderful poem by John Anthony Davies:

I saw a child who couldn't talk or walk
Sit on a horse, laugh and talk
Then ride through a field of daisies
and yet, he couldn't walk unaided.
I saw a child, no legs below,
sit on a horse and make it go
through woods of green
and places he had never been
to sit and stare, except from a chair.
I saw a child who couldn't crawl
mount a horse and sit up tall.
Put it through degrees of paces
and laugh at the wonder in our faces.
I saw a child born into strife,
Take up and hold the reins of life
and that same child, I heard him say
Thank God for showing me the way.

Little Bit, don't let the name fool you, all ages are welcome. This organization was started by a women with Multiple Sclerosis when she discovered that riding a horse was slowing down the progression of her disease.

TREAT is a program that is a part of Tarleton State University; something to think about if you're interested in going into hippotherapy when you finish college.

Windridge conducts research as they are providing hippotherapy which could lead to a wider acceptance of the practice, and maybe even the discovery of more uses for horse therapists.

This is his first time riding a horse. What a natural!
My husband ended up loving the experience and has been looking forward to going horseback riding again ever since.


  1. Love that picture of M.! Do you know of any places in the GNO area?

    I love your blog, Sarah!

    1. Thanks! If you're talking about horseback riding for the general public, we did it in City Park http://www.equestfarm.com/. I think there's also a place called Cascade Stables that's by the zoo but I don't know anymore information than that.
      If you're talking about places that do hippotherapy, Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center does http://www.gnotrc.com/.

    2. Ok, so I just found info about Cascade Stables, they are actually cheaper than the one we went to. Here's the link: http://www.cascadestables.net/lessons.html

      We should find a time to all go together.


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