Adaptive Riding / Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic Riding

Therapeutic riding is a recreational form of therapy that can be taught by a non-therapist instructor.  The focus is on developing horsemanship skills on and off the saddle.  Just as in hippotherapy, therapeutic riding can improve sensory and motor skills that carryover into improving balance, coordination, strength, and posture.  Many of our participants have graduated from hippotherapy and moved on to therapeutic riding.

It’s All About The Movement!

The human pelvis allows our body to move front to back, side-to-side and in rotation. A horse’s pelvis functions the same exact way! So, for someone who is unable to walk independently, riding a horse can be very beneficial. The pelvic moment experienced by the participant while riding, can mimic the human walking pattern. It is said that if you close your eyes while riding a horse, it will feel as if you are walking on air. The horses’ movement not only gives you the sensation of walking, but it also increases muscle strength, range of motion and coordination, all of which assist in improving postural stability. 

“Some Friends Have Four Legs”

In addition to the physical benefits of riding a horse, interactiong with the horse can improve confidence, trust and social skills. Horses are very good at recognizing human emotion and responding to their environment. 

Hi, my name is Briana Somoano. I am 16 years old, and a quintuplet (5 kids born at the same time). I have three brothers and a sister. I have a disability called Cerebral Palsy. It’s where I have tightness in my legs and muscles, referred to as Spastic Dystonia. So, to help me walk, I use a K-walker. However, I don’t let it stop me from doing what I like, because with will and determination, you can accomplish anything.

Roughly a little over a year ago, my therapist Mrs. Christine referred me to Emerald M Farm and that’s where I met Mrs. Lisa Michelangelo. Emerald M Farm is a place where disabled kids can go to get therapy through riding horses. The moment I arrived there, I knew it was the start of something incredible. So eventually, I had my first lesson and at this time I was working on the horse therapy aspect of it all. I love it so much, I told my mom and dad after we got home that this is definitely what I want to do for a long time. It honestly made me so happy realizing that I found something I am passionate about and that I love doing.

As I go to each lesson, I see major improvements from where I was the lesson before. This makes me feel so accomplished. Mrs. Lisa is the most down-to-earth, loving and kind-hearted person you will ever meet. She is so outgoing and motivating, and we have built such a close bond with each other that I’m sure it will last forever.

Going to Emerald M (Farm) Therapeutic Riding Center was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. While you’re working out your legs and your core, you are also having lots of fun. I cannot thank her enough because without her help, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I highly recommend coming to Emerald M Farm, because I guarantee you, it will be a life-changing experience for you just like it was for me.

Briana Somoano

Share This