Modern riding therapy embraces a holistic approach to riding, taking from riding what we need - recreation, sport, rehabilitation, physical and psychological therapy. Riding provides a gentle, rhythmical, symmetrical exercise in a healthy atmosphere. It is challenging and above all, enjoyable.
For someone physically impaired either at birth or as a result of an accident, muscle groups cease to function normally. The regular, rhythmical movement of the horse enables the rider to work all the muscles, and in particular those muscles that provide balance for sitting and walking. The riders, mostly children, attend these courses usually once a week during the school term.
The Intensive Therapy programme offers clients physiotherapy with a difference, working one-on-one with a qualified physiotherapist, occupational or conductive therapist. The rider participates in a 30-minute session that focuses on physical, cognitive, psychological, behavioural or perceptual areas.
We also provide physiotherapy sessions run by our staff physiotherapist. During the physiotherapy session the three dimensional gait of the horse is used to positively influence functional outcome for our clients (hippotherapy). Together with other physiotherapy techniques, hippotherapy is used as part of an integrated plan of care appropriate to the client. The purposeful manipulation of the horse’s gait will affect the responses shown by the client. It is aiming to positively influence gait, balance, and coordination. It will also help with improvements in sensory integration/ regulation and speech projection as a result of increased respiration. These physiotherapy sessions are working towards functional goals.
By its very nature, riding influences the whole person and the effect on all the body’s systems can be profound. Any riding program using horse related activities for clients with physical, mental, cognitive, social or behavioural challenges will have this beneficial effect. Our programmes are set up to use this positive influence in 3 specific ways to cater for our clients.
The Remedial Riding Programme run by our Remedial coaches is geared towards providing a safe, fun, and educational riding lessons specifically targeted for recreational riding. Adaptation of equipment to guide/control the horse might be used to provide the client with the opportunity to become as independent as possible within their capabilities. Clients are selected into groups according ability and age.
We also run an Equine Facilitated Learning Programme for clients that are not able to have a ridden session. Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) is a non-mounted, hands-on programme for clients. They will learn to care for and interact with horses as well as understand the horse’s behaviour and be able to transfer that information to their everyday lives.
Ambury Park Centre remedial programmes and physiotherapy are providing the added bonus of being in a challenging but supportive, often outdoor, environment where our clients feel stimulated and empowered.