PHYSICAL
Riding & Equine Assisted Therapy
From your first session, riding helps your body to develop core strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. Riding stimulates muscle development at all levels as the movement of the horse challenges the body to constantly readjust to maintain balance.  The rhythmical movement of the horse, even at walk, stretches and strengthens throughout the entire body. With additional progressive exercises tailored to your ability, balance, increased stamina, strength and suppleness will occur over a series of sessions. The enjoyable nature of the activity means that you will be getting fitter and gaining multiple benefits without demanding exercise regimes.  This is especially useful for clients who find traditional physical therapy difficult to engage in.
 
The physical benefits are apparent at all levels of ability, from improvements in athletic performance to helping those who have profound physical disabilities.
 
- Improved co-ordination is needed to correctly influence the horse and horses provide feedback instantly in the form of the correct or incorrect movement.  Sessions including practicing a range of patterned movements thereby improving motor skills, co-ordination and planning.
 
- Stretching for tight muscles including spasticity can be improved through sitting with or without stirrups. Gravity can enable stretch in all lower limbs and through the hips when working without stirrups.  Whilst use of stirrups requires stretch through the calf and heel to enable security in the saddle.
 
      - Core strength in the stomach and back muscles is gained through constant muscle tension and relaxation to maintain good upright posture and balance whilst moving.
 
      - Arm and hand muscles are worked in holding the reins in the correct position, as is relaxation through the shoulders and upper body.
 
      - The partnership and bond created whilst riding and working with another living creature provides a sense of well-being and physical relaxation.
 
      - Abnormal muscle movements and spasms are seen to be inhibited when participating in ridden exercise.
 
      - Increased motor control and range of movement is improved, not only whilst in the saddle but in grooming, tacking up, mounting and dismounting.
 
    - Improvements in cardiovascular strength can also be seen as trotting and cantering work improves circulation and respiration. As with any physical activity, metabolism is increased; as is appetite, which can help aid in general fitness and weight management as well as improvements in digestive and eating disorders.

- Sensory integration and perception is stimulated through the tactile and environmental stimuli of the stable yard and the horses themselves.  All senses are activated in the relaxed environment we work within.

 

The physical benefits are amazing.
from horse care to riding...
For all levels of ability and fitness, the activities involved in horse care and riding can help improve your fitness from flexibility, suppleness and strength through to  cardiovascular exercise.   Activities around the stable yard, as well as riding are moderate to intense levels of exercise.  Click below to download an interesting document produced by the British Horse Society on the benefits of horse riding...
 
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