The life of riding - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 03-07-2012, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
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Question The life of riding

I have to write a research paper for my English class. I decided upon doing it on therapeutic horseback riding, its pros, cons, and the horses effect on the human psyche. So I would like to know every ones feelings when they are riding their horse(s), what their thoughts on how helpful therapeutic horseback riding can be, and any cons you can think of for horseback riding! Thanks :)
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post #2 of 9 Old 03-09-2012, 06:56 AM
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When i'm riding, even for a minute it's just me and the horse. The connection between horse and rider is one of the strongest connections in this moden world. When i'm riding it's not with my head, it's with my heart. Every bad thought floats away and it's only that moment on the horse existing. Riding a horse is one of the most amazing feelings.

Good enough? :)

Horses heal hearts. - Gleekful Gleeks.
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post #3 of 9 Old 03-09-2012, 03:36 PM
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The only con is that not everyone will get to experience it.
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post #4 of 9 Old 03-09-2012, 03:44 PM
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the pros are obvous, and im sure you'll get many more responses on that. The cons could be the danger presented when riding. Especially if it coupled with people needing therapy, they arent always in the health or mindset to control a situation like you or I could. The pros heavily out weight the cons but just wanted to put that out there.
On the other hand, horses are therapy for the soul, even for those not needing it. :)
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post #5 of 9 Old 03-09-2012, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks ya'll! This should help me a ton!
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-09-2012, 03:50 PM
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I have done a lot of teaching for RDA (Riding for the Disabled) in the UK.

You might like to hear of two of many incidents that have stuck in my mind.
One was with a wheelchair bound man who remarked that it was so good to be looking down on people rather than always looking up at them.

The second was an incident with a boy of about 11. Darren was totally blind after a brain bleed.
I had taken him out, starting off leading him from my horse but, on the way home I let him off the lead rein. We were walking up a quiet lane when a heifer jumped the fence right by our side. The pony jumped forward and to the side or he would have been hit by the heifer and Darren fell off. He was not hurt and I verbally guided him to catching the pony and remounting on his own.
As we walked back Darren said to me "Do you know the worse thing about being blind is?"
'Not being able to see? " I replied.
"Nope," he said, "The very worse thing is that nobody will let you do anything. I fell off on my own, I caught Rocky on my own and I got back on on my own so, I can do somethings!"

Riding gives a handicapped person mobility, a sense of independence and freedom.
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post #7 of 9 Old 03-09-2012, 03:54 PM
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pros... for disabilities such as people/children who have trouble walking or moving there lower limbs reallybenefit from riding... riding is a good stimulus for the hips and replicates a walking movement to strengthen those muscles. it also brings aton of joy to them because most feel a sort of accomplishment of doing something on there own. yes people are leading the horse or standing near them /slightly touching them but they have accomplished something that is not normal such as riding a horse.
for me being fortunate enough not to have a disability i would say a pro is it helps my state of mind in the sense it clears me of life stresses and allows me to focus on one thing and thats my horse and after the focus i usually have accomplished something which really benefits my overall attitude.
for children with no disibilties i would say they probably get the same feeling as those with disabilities in the sense they will automatically feel like somethng was accomplished after walking 2 steps... where as riders here need more than that to feel accomplished depending on there horse over course
cons.. the only con i have is the liability that is intact with animals.. they have there own minds and there fore will react to things which can be dangerous.

otherwise i think it is healthy and good way to get people to feel free and find a joy in something :)
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-09-2012, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! This is all mostly what I have been finding out, and I needed to do a poll for my class, and thought what's more of a better place than the horse forum? But yes! Thank ya'll!

And Foxhunter: Those are really cool stories, I work with W.C.R. (We Can Ride) so pretty much like RDA, and i've heard several stories like that. It's amazing isn't it? What we take for granted, they consider us lucky to have. <3 I love those kids. I may be only 15 but, that volenteer work is the best. That's one of the reasons I chose to write my paper on this topic, because I feel so strongly about it
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-10-2012, 12:22 AM
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My attitude with teaching disabled riders was that if they got themselves to the arena without help, on sticks, in a wheelchair or crawling, then there was no reason why they could not ride a horse as an able bodied person.

All to often disabilities are used as an excuse by the instructor not to push the riders to achieving what they are capable of therefore they are just giving the riders 'pony rides'.

Many years ago, way before it was accepted that disabilities meant you could ride, a young girl, paralysed from the waist down by Polio, was brought by her grandparents to look at the horses. Both her legs were in callipers she was allowed to pat the ponies with her grandfather holding her which was silly to my mind as it was an effort for him to carry her. (She was about 8 years old)
One day I lifted her onto a pony bareback and led he around. The joy on her face was something I will never forget. She started to ride, she was led out from another horse and learned as an able bodied person. Before long she was spending the day working at the stables, the kids were great with her accepting there were things she couldn't do but making sure she did her fair share.

Jo was a natural rider, on a pony she looked no different to others. She was certainly not one for saying "I can't" and was soon competing alongside others of her age.
At the age of 11 she was show jumping. She was competing cross country, she was fox hunting.
At a major national show the girl who competed on a very good 13.2 pony was taken ill so Jo took over the ride. The class was for 14.2 and under, ponies and as a junior open class they started at 3'9" first round. Jo went clear in two rounds and in the jump off, as they came into the wall I could not see either of them!
Inexperience meant they came 3rd as Jo did not cut the corners as much as the pony was capable of.

So, having seen what a disabled person was capable of I will not accept that they have to be led around but will push so they have total independence when riding.

Sure thing that some will not be able to achieve as much as others but generally speaking, they can achieve a lot more than most will settle for.

It takes a special horse/pony to help with these riders but that does not mean they should be 'dead' they should be responsive to all sorts of aids and should be trusted to know what is wanted of them.

There are always going to be riders who can do nothing more than sit on a horse with a person on either side to aid their balance but, even they can learn and improve.
As for cons, I cannot see any that are anything different from an able bodied person. Yes, riding is a risk but that is the same for both sets of people.
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