Autism and Therapeutic Riding

Autism and Therapeutic Riding

Reprinted from NARHA Strides magazine, July 1996

Autism is a developmental disability that often appears during the first three years of life. Autism is associated with abnormalities in brain structure and neurological disorder of the brain’s function. It vacillates between being the third and fourth most common developmental disabilities. It occurs in approximately 5-15 per 10,000 births. It is four times more common in boys than it is in girls. Autism is not determined by racial, ethnic, social, lifestyle, educational or psychological factors.

Medical Considerations for Therapeutic Riding Reprinted from NARHA Strides magazine, July 1996
Riding a horse provides wonderful results that are obtained when these children, many of whom have little sense of their own bodies in space, or little contact with the outside world, come in contact with the Ride On experience. The children develop special relationships with the horses that quickly generalize to increased contact and involvement with teachers, trainers and family members. The sense of confidence and competence they gain from their horsemanship is unparalleled by any other experience.