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The mission of Dream Catcher of Los Angeles Therapeutic Riding Centers is to improve the lives of children, adults, and veterans with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities through the benefits of therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities, while serving the therapeutic riding profession through training, education and research.
Therapeutic riding is a unique combination of sport, recreation, and education. There are many benefits to therapeutic riding for individuals with cognitive, physical, or psychological disabilities. All students gain confidence by mastering riding skills. Therapeutic riding focuses on forming a partnership with the horse. The horse's gait closely emulates that of the human gait and allows the brain to practice correct walking movement patterns. Horses are very social animals. Social interactions are developed between the horse, therapist, instructors, volunteers, and other students.
Physical benefits can include greater strength and agility, improved balance and posture,
Psychological benefits can include an increase in recreation, fun, empowerment, social interactions, independence, improved self image, attention span and motivation, self-confidence, self-discipline, risk taking, patience, and trust.
Cognitive benefits can include sequencing, hand-eye coordination, multi-tasking, sensory integration, left/right discrimination, motor planning, patterning, and visual/spatial perception.
Educational benefits - through play riders learn to identify colors, numbers, shapes, animals, etc.
Social benefits - Friendships, development of respect for individuals and animals.