What are Equine-Assisted Activities?

Equine-Assisted Activities

Equine-Assisted Activities (EAA) are widely recognized as one of the most beneficial forms of recreational therapy that people with special needs can receive.

Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida has been providing this therapy for almost 40 years, helping hundreds of riders improve their self-esteem and interaction with the world around them. Using all five senses as they ride, participants process visual, auditory, and tactile information which leads to significantly improved muscle tone, strength, speech, balance, and coordination. The benefits of horseback riding are as numerous as the types of disabilities and conditions served. This therapy strengthens muscles and increases mobility while building self-confidence, self-awareness and a feeling of freedom and joy for the rider.

Our facility offers four of the most effective equine assisted programs, including therapeutic riding and hippotherapy. At Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, participants in the therapeutic riding program strive to learn to ride independently using classical riding techniques and horsemanship. Patients in the Hippotherapy program perform physical therapy on a horse where the horse’s movement works in tandem with the physical therapist to deliver stretching and strengthening exercises not easily replicated in a clinical setting.

At Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, our concept is to create a therapy strategy that helps our participants attain their goals and works in harmony with their other therapies. Individual lesson plans are developed and regular rider assessments measure progress towards goals. This approach allows our instructors to adapt the equine-assisted therapy to meet each rider’s needs. PATH-certified instructors supervise all riding sessions and volunteers assist students by leading the horse and/or walking beside the rider if necessary.

While riding our horses individuals with limited mobility experience independent movement. Children who are non-verbal or on the autism spectrum find their voices. Participants find themselves focusing on what they can do, instead of what they cannot do.