Best Breed for therapy? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 06:08 AM
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Im my experience, every horse breed is different and there will also be the quiet horse and the hypo horse of every breed.
I think its important you ask yourself what discipline do you want to expose the people to? Western or English riding?
Buy horses suited to that discipline. There's no point buying an english horse, and then putting a western saddle on his back.
I find paint horses good to deal with in general, and cobs are also alright. But please bear in mind that there is exceptions to every breed.
Also, a release form saying that horses are dangerous even life threatening should be signed by every participant, just so that your outta hot water in case anyone gets hurt.
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post #12 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 06:27 AM
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The umbrella organisation for riding for the disabled is the

The Nnational organisation for amateur horse riding in the UK is
the British Horse Society

I would suggest you made contact with both organisations - a simple email on the lines posted in the HF would I hope put you through to the right person.

Barry G
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post #13 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 06:49 AM
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If you haven't yet, I'd get in touch with these folks: NARHA, Inc, who are the umbrella organization for therapeutic riding in North America (I'm assuming that's where you are). They can probably connect you with practitioners in your area. If you're interested in equine assisted psychiatric treatment, you should Google an organization called EAGALA. I did some work for them a few years ago as a horse handler and thought they were excellent.
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post #14 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 08:43 AM
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At The Riding School Im At THey Have A 2 Lessons A Week For People With Disabilitys And THey Use Cobs! They're So Friendly And Quite.
They Also Have Kids Who Go OUt 4 A Weekly Lesson Who Are Paralysed or Have Other Problems And They Use Quite Ponies. I Think One Of Them Has A Wee Bit Of Arab Blood Not Sure Just Judging By His Dished Face!

a silent night,wen friends are few,I close my eyes nd tink of u.A silent night,a silent tear,a silent wish dat u wer here♥ Is maith liom cąca milis:) lol
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post #15 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 09:46 AM
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Conformation and temperament are the most important. Especially if you are considering using people that have no balance and little muscle tone. It is best to go for a large boned, strong animal so they can deal with the uneven weight distribution across their backs. A lot of horses have the temperament but they can't take the lack of balance and posture in their handicapped riders. Draft crosses as a "breed" are by far the best for this type of work because they have the mellow temperament and the big, broad, strong backs that you need. However, any breed can do well as a therapy horse. No matter what breed you get make sure that they get regular riding by able-bodied people to maintain their muscle tone and shape and also some form of massage to keep their muscles limber, un-sore and even.
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post #16 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Barry Godden View Post
We are talking about the horses reacting to children - the fascinating thing is to watch children and handicapped adults reacting to horses.
This mentally challenged lady, about 35 comes to the barn with her aunt. For her birthday they had given her a halter and a lead line. She is so proud of having her own horse stuff. While severely mentally diasabled she can tell you the name of every one of the 25 horses on the farm, every one.
We let her go and get my spirited arab and with her he is so gentle. She will take him out the lane to graze and you watch her leaning on him, talking to him. Sometimes she comes back into the barn without the horse?? She forgot and just ran back to the barn to tell us how good he is for her and forgets to bring him along. He just keeps on eating and she goes back out to him.
We will sometimes saddle him for her and let her ride him but I learned recently that she has a steel rod all the way down her back and if she falls of she could be crippled. I am worried about letting her have him after learning that.
This spirited arab just knows that this person is special and he acts so carefully around her.
They know.
As for breed? Any older laid back horse, not too tall, not to heavy will do as long as they exibit this gentle behavior.
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post #17 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 10:41 AM Thread Starter
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thanks that was alot of help.
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post #18 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 11:05 AM
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I'd echo the advice given to you by one of your respondents on the other thread you posted. Therapeutic riding is a highly specialized skill with lots of liability issues. Dealing with any population with serious mental and physical disabilities takes a fair bit of knowledge, especially if you are also working with something as dangerous as a horse. If you don't have training in it, find a local therapeutic riding centre and get some. Most of them take volunteers, which is probably the best way to get connected to your local therapeutic riding community. It is of course a laudable thing to want to use the power of the horse to help people and it can make a huge, positive impact on people's lives. Indeed, Western cultures have been using horses and riding for therapeutic purposes since at least the Victorian period (the Victorians thought riding was a great treatment for mental disorders), but please do it safely. Contact NARHA and they will be able to point you in the right direction.
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post #19 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 11:52 AM
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Agreed. Talk to NAHRA for mental/developmental disabilities. EAGALA and many other groups like it can help you with psychological (Though, you need to be a social worker/psychotherapist to do the actual therapy. EAGALA does have volunteers and "Equine Specialists").

Don't just start trying to get people to ride your horse and call it therapy.

There are some great programs in North America and the UK depending where you are that will lead to certification and will help with liability, barn check, horses, insurance, etc.
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post #20 of 25 Old 09-23-2009, 11:55 AM
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I volunteered for the Cincinnati Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship stable for two years. They had everything from a TB/Hanoverian/Trakehner cross to a 11hh pony, to a QH/Percheron cross, two Appaloosas.. It is all in temperament.

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