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Ride With Pride (RWP) is making a difference in the lives of those children and adults who have physical disabilities, mental/emotional needs, and learning challenges through a wide range of therapeutic equine activities.
The RWP Therapeutic Horsemanship program continues to offer individuals a supportive, communitybased environment for the treatment of mental, physical and emotional needs. The program utilizes functional riding skills and the rhythmic movement of the horse to achieve specific physical, cognitive, and social/emotional goals. This interactive recreational activity includes mounted and non-mounted exercises designed to improve physical abilities, to increase confidence and independence, and to encourage positive interpersonal and social interactions.
The amount of benefit gained through therapeutic riding differs from person to person based on many factors such as the type of disability, severity of disability, motivation of the rider and connection between horse and rider. Unlike exercise machines that only focus on one muscle group at a time and do not use natural body movements, riding forces the rider to make use of the entire body to steer, control, adjust the horse and maintain balance.
Because horses require not only physical skill but also cognitive skill for achievement, riding reveals the strengths and weaknesses of the rider. While most traditional therapeutic techniques often reach a plateau where the patient may lose motivation, the pleasure and excitement of riding acts to encourage patients to work through the pain and discomfort. The act of accomplishing something many able-bodied people are afraid to try is a benefit to those with disabilities in itself.