Therapeutic Riding Essay

843 words - 4 pages

Therapeutic riding has also been shown to improve the behavioral patterns of a child with autism. Smith says some behavioral patterns are inability to relate to other, sensory of processing deficits, cognitive deficits, self-stimulation, resistance to change, and challenging behaviors(Smith…). Scott lists multi-tasking as one of the skills that is improved with riding. “Multi-tasking-Simultaneously, a rider holds the reins in the correct position; squeezes with his legs; sits erect; listens to and follows directions from the instructor; and watches the horse in from of him lest his mount get to close” (13 scott). This skill of multi-tasking can be carried over to the classroom because a child has to be able to do multiple actions at a time. For example listen to the teacher while following their directions or taking notes, as well as not getting distracted by other students. Sequencing tasks is another skill that Scott recognizes improves with therapeutic riding. “A single chore(stopping a horse) for someone with impaired skills can be a series of steps, each done one at a time. Learning to put the steps together in the right order, which often doesn’t come naturally, can be helpful in daily life” (13 cognitive scott). Following sequential steps is crucial for a child to be able to perform in a classroom because a teacher will give a series of directions and they have to be able to follow it. A teacher may say hang up your coats, sit down at your desk and get out your writing assignment to work on. A child has to be able to follow those directions to be able to learn when needs to be learned. If the teacher has to take time to redirect or remind a child the series of directions this takes away from learning a subject. Another skill that therapeutic riding improves is hand-eye coordination. “For example, approaching the end of the arena the rider sees the rail loom closer and his hands, holding the reins, makes the moves that turn the horse. Throwing a basketball into a hoop, or catching a ball, combines hand-eye coordination with balance and stretching” (13 cognitive Scott). Eye-coordination is an important skill to develop because it is the same skill that a child needs to be able to draw or color or use scissors. Therefore, eye-coordination is very important for a child to have to be able to succeed in a classroom. A study that demonstrates that therapeutic riding improves behavioral patterns in a study done by Gabriel. There were 42 participants, ages between six and sixteen who were diagnosed with either autism or Asperger’s disorder.“The lesson plans...

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