You have probably heard of service dogs, but have you heard of service horses? Millions of individuals have had their lives transformed after spending time riding and caring for horses and ponies. Horses can help do wonders for both physical and mental health!
When I was younger, I volunteered at an equine therapy stable that helped children with a wide range of disabilities by using horses. The children at the stable ranged from kids with Autism, to kids with Down Syndrome, to kids with behavioral problems and more. Caring for and learning to ride the horses helped the children immensely.
Learning to ride a horse takes discipline, focus, patience, physical strength, coordination, and more. That is why riding is so wonderful for people who face physical and mental challenges daily. It can help with ADHD, Autism, Addiction and substance abuse, behavioral problems, Anxiety and depression, PTSD, intellectually challenged children and adults, and much more.
Besides the physical aspect of riding, bonding with and working with horses can help just as much. Being around horses has helped me immensely in dealing with my anxiety disorder and I am sure I am not alone. Creating a bond with these animals can help to improve self esteem, happiness, calmness, and overall sense of well being, even in individuals who do not have a serious physical or mental illness.
Horses are patient and loving gentle giants. Working with them can do miracles in the medical field. You won't find a better doctor or psychologist than a horse. So many people can benefit from Equine Therapy and you do not always need a special program to benifit. Just going on a trail ride once in a while could make a world of difference. So grab a helmet, a bag of carrots, and a smile and get on your way.