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millymoo 06-20-2013 09:55 PM

Horse Therapy and Autism
Hi guys, for my last year of high school I am doing a major work about Autism and Equine (horse) Therapy and am trying to determine how effective it is. So, just wondering what peoples opinions or even experiences have been around this subject. Thanks!

boots 06-21-2013 12:49 AM

There is a fairly recent thread about riders with Asperger's Autism and riding.

Based on my observation of people who participate in therapeutic riding programs, persons with diagnoses considered psychiatric show longer lasting benefits than those with solely physical challenges.

cakemom 06-21-2013 12:59 AM

Depending on severity I have seen it be very beneficial. My sons bestie is Autistic, high functioning but very mentally erratic. He dearly loves animals of all sorts, the bigger the better and adores a short ride, and will groom all day, but does not like the instruction it takes to ride properly. Says it takes the fun out of it. This is a child that I have a relationship with to the point they call me to calm him and my children guide him- and to see the joy in his eyes when Flicka snuggles him is pure joy.
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tinyliny 06-21-2013 01:23 AM

my son is autistic spectrum. I took him riding once. He did not like it and has not interest in horses. folks with Autistic spectrum personalities can't really be lumped together as neatly as we'd like.

boots 06-21-2013 09:53 AM

^^^ So true, and a good point for us to remember. Hard for us horse lovers to comprehend!

I'm picturing a friend's grandson (has a diagnosis of being on the spectrum) who loves vacuum cleaners and their steers, but is uninterested in horses.

Viva la difference! :D

Farmchic 06-21-2013 10:02 AM

I've looked into it some and have read that if you sing while they are riding it has good effects on their speech development. I just remember thinking that was an interesting point. There's some really sweet videos on you tube showing autistic children at different therapy barns.

millymoo 06-22-2013 02:34 AM

Thank you for your responses, I appreciate it. If you have any other info etc please share! All opinions are helpful :)

millymoo 06-22-2013 02:36 AM

P.S boots thanks for the link!

Becca93 06-22-2013 02:57 AM

There are a few different case studies - I know there was a recent one completed here in Australia. It was shown to have some positive affects on those with austism and aspergers, but it does depend on the child. It is not a clear cut every child with austism loves horses and interactions have positive affects.

I know of a little boy who is a friends son who loves horses, but its hard to tell whether that love has anything to do with the fact his is autistic.

Great topic though.

tinyliny 06-22-2013 03:26 AM

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