Horseback riding is great exercise and a whole lot of fun. It is also an excellent therapy for addressing key symptoms affiliated with autism: communication and social skills, lowered sensory skills, motor skills, and response to verbal cues and external stimuli. When you ride, you develop a bond with your horse and they become familiarized with your movements, attitudes and emotions, which make them extremely effective in bonding with an autistic child and encouraging communication and interaction.
Autistic children learn to focus on something outside themselves and learn to communicate and interact by responding to verbal cues from the instructor. Because the benefits of equine therapy are so tremendous for an autistic child, ASDF directly funds lessons for those whose families can’t do it on their own. Those who have attended have seen a great deal of improvement in communication, motor skills and so much more.
What others are saying about ASDF’s equine therapy program…
On behalf of Equine Assisted Therapy, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your recent donation to support our rider scholarship for patrick Olsson. It is only through the generosity of donors like you that enable us to achieve our mission of improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through innovative equestrian activities. ”
~Karen Sanchez, Founder and Executive Director, Equine Assisted Therapy;
“Thank you for giving our son, Owen, the opportunity to participate in therapeutic riding lessons during summer session. We have seen great improvements in Owen’s fine motor and gross motor skills since he started riding. Just this week, he started riding a bicycle and last week his occupational therapist reported his letter formations and tying are improving. We thank you for your financial support and wanted to share these exciting steps with you. What you are doing is making a difference! Thank you!”
~Jeffrey and Karen L., parents of an autistic child
“This is Patrick’s first experience riding horses and he is already making huge strides. During his very first lesson a few weeks ago his mother commented that she hadn’t heard Patrick laugh or seen such joy on his face since she could remember! He is learning how to steer the how, how to cue the horse to ‘walk on,’ ‘trot,’ and ‘whoa.’ We are using the motivation he gets from the horse to build upon his very limited vocabulary and working on following multi-step directions. We are so proud to be part of this healing process and grateful to organizations like yours who provide financial assistance to make dreams come true.”
~Karen M. Sanchez, Executive Director, Equine Assisted Therapy