Medical Benefits Found on a Horse Ride

As cats and dogs have been demonstrated to serve as loyal companions to shut-ins and those suffering debilitating illnesses, certain physical and emotional therapies are finding benefits from using a horse ride for healing purposes.

Psychotherapy using horses is showing their ability to assist people with mental illness, who may have turned away from human therapists. The intelligence and capability to communicate physically with people make them as ideal companion for some. When a person suffering from some mental illnesses goes on a horse ride, the two tend to communicate more, helping the person feel better about their communication ability.

While on a horse ride, the animal's movements help strengthen the rider's muscles throughout the body and in some cases have improved body movement and some have even regained the ability to walk. Soldiers used to go on a horse ride as part of their physical therapy, which was part of their recuperating stage.

Horses Helping Reform Convicts

A Nevada correctional facility has its residents train wild Mustangs, captured off the range, making them more likely to become adoptable animals. When the prisoners go on a horse ride, on an animal they trained, the numbers who they are less likely to revert to crime than those who were not involved in the training program.

Other states use prisoners to retrain retired thoroughbred racehorses as pleasure horses so they can give a horse ride to others now that their racing days have ended. Working with the horses appears to improve the behavior of some inmates as well as giving the horses something to do following retirement.

Showing the confidence of horse rides benefiting those with disabilities, the Paralympics games have added equestrian events. The Paralympics are for athletes with physical disabilities such as amputees and those with visual disabilities. They normally are held following the regular Olympics every four years. They should not be confused with the Special Olympics, held for those with intellectual disabilities.

Attention, memory and the ability to reason are traits required to for a horse ride and people with cognitive disabilities have been helped. Additionally, no amount of technology can replace a horse ride is many areas. Police on horseback can work city streets and parks better than police officers in cars and even the military may still use horse in terrain such as mountains of heavy brush, where the use of vehicle is not possible.