“The horse: here is nobility without conceit, friendship without envy, beauty without vanity. A willing servant, yet no slave.” – Ronald Duncan
How can riding a horse benefit someone with a disability?
Sitting astride a horse that is moving at a walk can improve balance and muscle tone, and exercise core postural muscles. Improved posture and mobility increases efficiency of the systems within the body, which improves overall health and wellness. Research has shown that over 40 different conditions benefit from therapeutic horseback riding by improving: social interactions, cognitive, physical, psychological, language development and communication. The three-dimensional movement of the horse and the rhythmical even strides mirror the human gait and simulate what it feels like to walk without aids. Learning to mount and dismount a horse engages motor planning and problem solving abilities, which are similar to getting in and out of a car or a bathtub. Grooming the horse or holding reins can improve gross and fine motor skills which are needed for self-care activities, such as, dressing or holding a spoon. Learning to direct and command a horse allows our riders to feel competent, empowered and accomplished.
Q: How do I become a rider at M.A.R.E.?
A: Call us at 661.589.1877 and we collect some basic information. You will be contacted to make an appointment with our PATH Int’l Certified Riding Instructor. The Instructor will interview you and the prospective rider; we will discuss expectations and goals. You will receive a packet of paperwork!!! We will discuss weekly schedule openings. All paperwork must be returned to the office before the new rider can begin lessons.
Q: What do I wear to ride?
A: When preparing to ride, remember, you want to be comfortable. Here is a list of things to wear and keep in mind:
- Always wear closed-toed shoes. Boots or equestrian type shoes with at least a ¼ inch heel are best.
- Long pants or jeans (that have some stretch to them) are preferred; breeches are fine, but not required. (Shorts allow the leg to rub against the saddle and are not recommended.)
- Light weight tops are best: t-shirt or polo shirt will be fine.
- No dangling earrings, necklaces or jewelry.
- Jackets and sweatshirts may not be tied around the waist.
- Long hair must be tied back.
- It is advisable to use sunscreen.
- Helmet. It is recommended that you purchase your own; one that has been fitted to you by a professional. We do have helmets that may be borrowed.