Occupational Therapy Principles
Through the individual's interaction with the horse, development of riding skills and playing games the individual will develop fine and gross motor skills, perceptual skills, process and intergrate sensory information and show improvements in their physical functioning, verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
When riding the horse the individual needs to maintain an upright posture to ensure that they are balanced and they learn where their body is in space. They need to give the horse directions by using their hands, seat, shoulders and legs simultaneously. By doing this they improve their coordination and communication skills. They also need to build a trusting relationship by remaining calm and relaxed. This helps to regulate their emotions and with their relationship skills.
Because the horse is non-judgemental the individual will get an instant response from the horse when the correct commands are given building self-confidence and giving a sense of control.