41- Horsebacking Therapy
Brianne's Dad grew up training horses and loved everything about them with the exception of having to clean stalls. It is where he learned about how babies are born (more or less:), how to work hard, how to take care of animals, and went on many horseback trips and adventures in the Colorado mountains. Over the years of training and taking care of horses it gave him a love for them. I, on the other hand, grew up in the city, didn't feel comfortable riding them so I wasn't so eager to do so.
Trust me, we tried. We have been on various horseback riding (day trips) but I was still not a fan. And truly I didn't see the value in them particularly.
Then one day a friend who is a nurse working with an incredible foundation for abused women told me what happened when they went to check out 'Hoofbeats to Healing' for one of their retreats. She said that there were many people that joined her, the founders, the president, etc. and as they rode the horses, Tami (Hoofbeats to Healing owner) could see different things about each person as she watched their riding position and more importantly, how the horse was reacting to how they were sitting etc. She was so intuitive and talked about how the horses trot or 'gait' was perfect for connecting the left and right side of the brain.
Here are a few things shared on their website:
"Hoofbeats to Healing is dedicated to providing therapeutic horseback riding in Utah. We began over 2 decades ago and have developed an effective natural approach to therapeutic horseback riding via Missouri Fox Trotter and Andalusian horses. Based on the theory of Cross Hemispheric Integration, which is if a child didn't crawl correctly their brain may not be mapped correctly.
Research has shown that through the repetitious movement of crawling a child’s neural network connections in the brain become stimulated, organized and better developed.
That is why we use Missouri Fox Trotters and Andalusian Horses, they have a unique gait that patterns a person while riding, as if they were crawling. Our experience using these unique gaited horses has shown improvements in special needs persons where other therapies have fallen short.
We’ve seen results where people regain their ability to walk and/or talk again, or do so for the first time, or an autistic child becomes aware of their surroundings of life."
Their Program has proven effective with...
Anxiety Depression RAD ( Reactive Attachment Disorder) ADD/ADHD Autism PTSD Multiple Sclerosis Addictions Visual Impairment
Head Trauma Learning Disabilities Cerebral Palsy Spina Bifada Sensory Issues Mental Retardation Neurological Issues Emotional Distress Heart Attack/Stroke Spinal Cord Injuries
After Brianne had been going to “Hoofbeats To Healing” for nearly a year. They called her ‘Miracle Bri’ because when she first started they had to walk beside her and hold her on the horse. She was invited after a year of therapy to show at the State Fair in the Foxtrot horse show where she took First place.
Tami, the owner, has been so wonderful with Brianne by inviting her to compete in different events, helping her feel loved and celebrated with each small improvement. Little 'Alex' sat with us on the sidelines and cheered his Mom on!
Doing hard things is hard. It takes time and a lot of effort. That’s why when you accomplish something hard, it feels so good. The joy on her face has been worth the many hours and difficulties!